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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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Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.

The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.

As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident

Posted: 2017-02-22  09:59 AM
NOREX youth CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.

As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.

"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."



To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter

Posted: 2017-02-21  01:25 PM
NOREX FTX HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.

It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.

"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."



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