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Minnesota National Guard
Viking pride thunders in the Middle-East

Basra, Iraq - As Minnesota Vikings back home were finishing lunch and readying for the game against the Detroit Lions, Soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division (34th ID) here were finishing their dinner and preparing to watch the live game
               
The Minnesota Vikings Viewing Party at Contingency Operating Base Basra brought 34th ID Soldiers a bit of home with a tailgating atmosphere complete with grilled food and pounding music
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Sgt Melissa Mensen, of Alexandria, Minn, 34th Military Police Company quick reaction force, wore a pink jersey in support of her team and family
               
"My mom's a big fan," she said
               
Throughout the night, Soldiers cheered their team and moments later saw themselves on the Jumbotron - the Metrodome stadium big screen- in Minneapolis
               
"I have a ten and nine year old," said Chief Warrant Officer Trygve Skaar, commander of the 34th ID Band "I would love to think they would get a glimpse of me"
               
"It's fun to think that might happen," said the Rosemount, Minn native
               
The 34th ID band had the honor of playing the national anthem from Iraq for the game and Capt Dustin Snare, of Plymouth, Minn, battle captain for the 34th ID operations section, blew the traditional Minnesota Viking's Gjallarhorn, a Nordic war horn, to kick off the game
               
The band was proud to represent the military, Skaar said
               
"Wherever we can bring people together to honor our nation, especially in this unique setting, is an awesome experience," he said
               
Throughout the night, the satellite feed that carried the game across the globe to Iraq would hang up occasionally; freezing mid-tackle or stopping the receiver in midair, but the cheering of the Soldiers never faltered
               
At halftime, Command Sgt Maj Doug Wortham, 34th ID Special Troops Battalion, had the opportunity to speak to his family on the field
               
The Elko, Minn native asked his son about his long hair and musical pursuits, his daughter about her belated search for the right college, and his wife about what housework he would see on his "honey-do list" when he arrived home
               
In the end, the Vikings defeated the Lions 27-10, a victory truly felt around the world

By Spc Samuel Soza
Multi-National Division " South
15 Nov 2009


Article source: http://www.theredbulls.org/article00448



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Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



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