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Minnesota National Guard
Serving Our Troops

COB Basra " A taste of home was served up "Saint Paul" style, Dec 12, as members of the Minnesota-based "Serving Our Troops" organization catered to Soldiers at Contingency Operating Base (COB) Basra, Iraq, and Camp Buering, Kuwait, as well as family members who gathered at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St Paul, Minn, all connected via a live video link
          
Local chefs, who flew into Kuwait two days ago, grilled and served more than 6,500, quality, 12-ounce steaks " also delivered for the special meal " to members of the 34th Infantry Division More importantly, the occasion allowed everyone involved a chance to connect with family 6,000 miles away

"This was the highlight of my day," said Master Sgt Jeff Vaske, Roseville, Minn, 34th Inf Div, Senior Eng NCO

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Occasionally days can get redundant, said Sgt. 1st Class Jeffry Taylor, Bryton, Minn, 34th Inf Div tactical command post "But, today was awesome," he said

The event entitled "Saint Paul to Iraq and Kuwait" is the seventh project for the non-profit group since 2004 they have served over 40,000 steaks in their history, but this was the largest staging yet

"Each mission is more complex and more expensive and we continue to reach out to businesses and the entire community for donations and support to make it happen," said Pat Harris, Saint Paul City Council member and organizational co-founder

"Serving Our Troops is a very special and unique way to give these families a chance to share a delicious meal together that happens to feature an amazing steak," he said

Normally catering to members of the Minnesota National Guard, Harris was proud to be at COB Basra where the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls," from Minnesota, are stationed while in command of Multi-National Division South Additionally, those involved savored the chance to feed Soldiers from outside of Minnesota who are stationed at COB Basra

"It's a point of Minnesota pride to be able to serve everyone," said Maj Gen, Richard Nash, commander of MND-S "They provided 5,500 steaks to Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airman, and civilians from all over"

The Serving Our Troops volunteers in Basra, who included local business owners, were joined by representatives of the Saint Paul Police Federation, the Minnesota Vikings, the golf event Tee It Up for the Troops, and "Superstar" Mike Morris from KFAN radio

The live video feed and the chance for service members to use Skype - a video conferencing software - to speak and be seen by loved ones were the highlights of the dining experience

Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General, were among the speakers who addressed the troops from Minnesota

At one point, a birthday cake appeared on the screen with lit candles and the words "Happy 22nd Birthday Spc Ramos" With much cheering from the crowd, Spc Michael Ramos, Stacy, Minn, an entry control point team member with the 34th Military Police Company, walked up to the screen and simulated blowing out the candles from the other side of the globe

He was then treated to a rousing performance of "Happy Birthday" from his fellow Soldiers

By SSG Chris Carney, 367th MPAD
Dec 14, 2009
Article source: http://www.theredbulls.org/article00503



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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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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.



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