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Minnesota National Guard
Final arrangements announced for three fallen Minnesota National Guard Soldiers

The funeral details for Sgt Bryan T McDonough, Age 22, of Maplewood and Sgt Corey J Rystad, Age 20, of Red Lake Falls have been announced Sgt McDonough and Sgt Rystad died in Fallujah, Iraq on December 2nd when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle The two Soldiers were assigned to B Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry in Crookston, Minnesota McDonough and Rystad have been promoted posthumously from the rank of Specialist to Sergeant

The funeral details for Sgt Nicholas D Turcotte, Age 23, of Maple Grove have been announced Sgt Turcotte was killed on December 4th when his armored security vehicle rolled over on a road near Al Nasiriyia The vehicle was escorting a logistics convoy with Soldiers of the West St Paul-based Company A, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry The accident was not the result of hostile enemy action, and the cause is under investigation

Sgt Bryan T McDonough

Wake (Open to Media)
3 pm to 8 pm
Monday, Dec 11
Mueller-Bies Funeral Home
2130 Dale ST N
Roseville, MN 55113
Funeral (Closed to the Media)
10 am to 11:30 am
Tuesday, Dec 12
Cathedral of St Paul
239 Selby AVE
St Paul, MN 55102

Interment (Open to Media)
12 pm to 12:30 pm
Tuesday, Dec 12
Ft Snelling National Cemetery
7601 34th AVE S
Minneapolis, MN 55450
Cards and flowers:
Mueller-Bies Funeral Home
c/o: McDonough Family
2130 N Dale St
Roseville, MN 55113

The McDonough Family
c/o Minnesota National Guard
3300 W 98th ST
Bloomington, MN 55431

Sgt Corey J Rystad

Visitation (Open to Media)
5 pm to 8 pm
Tuesday, Dec 12
Red Lake Falls School District:
Lafayette High School
Red Lake Falls, MN 56750
(School Phone 218-253-4480)
Funeral (Remote Video Open to Media, no Media in Church)
2 pm to 3:30 pm
Wednesday, Dec 13
St Josephs Catholic Church
112 Edward AVE NE
Red lake Falls, MN 56750

Interment (Open to Media)
4 pm to 4:30 pm
Wednesday, Dec 13
St Josephs Cemetery (3 miles from church)
Red Lake Falls, MN 56750
Cards and Flowers:
The Rystad Family
c/o Minnesota National Guard
1801 University AVE North
Crookston, MN 56716

Unity Bank North
c/o James Rystad
210 Main Street
Red Lake Falls, MN 56750

Sgt Nicholas D Turcotte

Visitation (Closed to Media)
9:30 am to 11 am
Friday, Dec 15
Church of St Vincent de Paul
9100 93rd Ave N
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

Funeral (Closed to Media)
11 am to 12 pm
Friday, Dec 15
Church of St Vincent de Paul
9100 93rd Ave N
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

Interment (Closed to Media)
1:30 pm to 2 pm
Friday, Dec 15
Ft Snelling National Cemetery
7601 34th AVE S
Minneapolis, MN 55450

Cards and flowers:
The Turcotte Family
c/o Evans Nordby Funeral Home
34 2nd ST NE
Osseo, MN, 55369

Lt Col Kevin Olson, 651-268-8949 (Office), 651-775-4392 (Cell)

Sgt. Bryan T. McDonough

Sgt. Corey J. Rystad

Sgt. Nicholas D. Turcotte

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Woman's Veterans Initiative Shows Major Muscle with Habitat for Humanity Build

Posted: 2015-11-25  09:37 AM
WVI H4H ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Women Veterans Initiative (WVI), a group orientated toward networking Minnesota women military members and veterans brought 16 service(wo)men from all services, ages and backgrounds together, November 12, to assist in a Habitat for Humanity build. Eleven of the 16 women are current or former Minnesota National Guardsmen.

"We started celebrating Veterans Day this way in 2008 with Habitat for Humanity and enjoy coming back each year to build," said Trista Matascastillo, program officer for Veterans Voices and chairman for the WVI. "We learn new skills, build our own confidence and make new friends. There are 27,000-plus women vets in Minnesota and so often we hear that women veterans feel isolated and alone and having events like this is just another way to bring us out and together."

The group started in the morning with a brief on the tasks for the day and quickly got to work, going above and beyond by organizing the work-site and making sure there was a high attention to detail.

Empowering Girls and Influencing the Next Generation

Posted: 2015-11-17  10:51 AM
Girls Rising ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Air National Guard and the Soroptimist International of the Twin Cities partnered together to present the documentary film 'Girl Rising' at the 133rd Airlift Wing on Saturday, Nov 7 2015.

The event featured a C-130 tour for any of the attendees, which included girls as young as nine. Following the tour, the documentary film 'Girl Rising' was featured and ended with a panel discussion. Topics included overcoming obstacles, mentors and people who have inspired them along the way.

"I think events like this are essential in opening our doors to the community and raising awareness about important issues not only local, but around the world - often these are places many of our wing members have deployed to," said Master Sgt. Theresa Mensinger, Diversity and Inclusion Senior Non-commissioned officer.

Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing has new leader

Posted: 2015-11-16  07:47 AM
148FW CoC Clint Austin DULUTH, Minn. - With the handing-off of the 148th Fighter Wing's flag on Saturday, Col. Jon Safstrom has become the new wing commander.

The Duluth native assumed the leadership role from Col. Frank Stokes, who is leaving Duluth after leading the 148th for more than six years to become chief of current operations at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Va.

During Saturday's Change of Command Ceremony at the Minnesota Air National Guard base in Duluth, Stokes passed the flag of the 148th "Bulldogs" to Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, who then passed the flag to Safstrom, symbolizing the accepting of the command.

133AW and Best Buy Corporate join together to support Operation Gratitude

Posted: 2015-11-12  12:51 PM
Operation Gratitude BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing and employees from Best Buy Corporate joined forces to support Operation Gratitude at the Best Buy corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Minn., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015.

Operation Gratitude is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, volunteer-based corporation, funded entirely by private donations. Every year, Operation Gratitude sends more than 150,000 individually-addressed care packages to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas.

On Friday, more than 30 members from the 133rd Airlift Wing worked side-by-side with employees of Best Buy Corporate to pack bags filled with snacks, small electronics and other items to be shipped to deployed military members overseas. The efforts paid off and the group packed nearly 1,800 bags in under an hour.

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