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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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