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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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Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



Minnesota Guardsmen participate in Aurora 17 exercise in Sweden

Posted: 2017-09-25  09:06 AM
Aurora 17 SKOVDE, Sweden - Minnesota National Guard Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor traveled overseas in mid-Sept. 2017 to take part in a cooperative, national defense training exercise with allied countries.

"The education and experience these Soldiers will receive is invaluable," said Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Hybben, 1-194th command sergeant major. "Our Soldiers will have operated in joint forces operations with fire and maneuver, which will allow for best practices to be shared and used in the future. They will have a better understanding of other military forces and how they operate not only strengthening our force but everyone involved."

The Brainerd-based battalion spearheaded the mission to Sweden as the most recent element of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division to have taken part in joint international training missions throughout Europe since early 2017.



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