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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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Camp Ripley earns top environmental award

Posted: 2017-04-26  02:09 PM
Mississippi River CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.

The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.

"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.



Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding

Posted: 2017-04-26  10:57 AM
Neely COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.

"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."

Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.



Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.

"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."



Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline

Posted: 2017-04-19  02:15 PM
Funeral Honors CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.

Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.

"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



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