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Minnesota National Guard
Backup for the troops: Stillwater, Washington County receive Yellow Ribbon status


Gazette photo by Peter Cox<br />From left: Gov Tim Pawlenty presents a certificate Tuesday to Stillwater Councilman Mike Polehna and Mayor Ken Harycki proclaiming Stillwater as a part of the stateÕs Yellow Ribbon Network as local soldier Chris Johnsen and Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito look on
Gazette photo by Peter Cox
From left: Gov Tim Pawlenty presents a certificate Tuesday to Stillwater Councilman Mike Polehna and Mayor Ken Harycki proclaiming Stillwater as a part of the state's Yellow Ribbon Network as local Soldier Chris Johnsen and Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito look on


When the Red Bulls start returning home from active duty later this month, Stillwater, Washington County, the Disabled Veterans Rest Camp and Cub Foods will be ready

The two governments and the Stillwater-based grocery chain were all proclaimed as part of the state's Yellow Ribbon Network on Tuesday afternoon The network is set up to help communities, companies and organizations welcome back troops after serving overseas

While several communities have been working on the designation for a long time, it was made official Tuesday at Century College when Gov Tim Pawlenty made proclamations for each community, company or organization involved

"If they are willing to put it all on the line for us, then we need to do everything we can to give back to them and support them in every possible way that we can," Pawlenty said "So each of us individually and all of collectively can do something"

The organizations had to go through a long application process

Becoming a Yellow Ribbon City involves a city showing the National Guard and state of Minnesota that a community or organization has the structures in place to support the families of the deployed and troops that are returning

In Stillwater, leaders had to develop and present a community action plan, which showed the state how each arm of the community would work together for the network's greater purpose

Tuesday, 12 organizations, including all the state's MnSCU schools, joined the network

Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, said he's happy with how communities and organizations have stepped up

"I'm extremely pleased," he said "It's actually exceeded expectations how the communities have responded I'm amazed at the number of people that want to do something"

The state will soon be welcoming back 1,100 troops who had been deployed to Iraq a year ago

The National Guardsmen will go through a demobilization over the next few weeks, and will be processed through Fort Lewis, Wash, where they will fill out paperwork and be given access to and contacts for resources for coming back

"Our goal in that first few days is to say 'Here are the resources available, if you are running into issues, and, oh by the way, we told your spouse the same thing, and she may call us as well,'" Shellito said

Tuesday also included training sessions for all of the new Yellow Ribbon communities, businesses and organizations, with members sharing information, ideas and resources

Stillwater City Councilman Mike Polehna was very excited after the proclamation

"We've got the first part done," he said "Now, we need to keep going They get back and now they are going to need our support"

He's been organizing a pheasant hunt for the local Red Bulls when they return home The Stillwater City Council passed a resolution Tuesday night to put a banner downtown welcoming back the troops

Polehna said he's already gotten a strong response from Soldiers who've heard about the Yellow Ribbon Network designation

"We've been in contact with some troops and they are thanking us," he said "And I'm thinking, 'Man, you are over there sleeping in a foxhole and I'm sleeping in a warm bed here'"

While he said the goal is for the community to show appreciation, he's been humbled by the Soldiers' gratitude

"It's been really rewarding," Polehna said

Peter Cox covers crime and the cities of Stillwater and Bayport for the Gazette He can be reached at pcox@acnpaperscom or 651-796-1108
By Peter Cox - Stillwater Gazette
Published: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 8:34 PM CST


Article source: http://www.stillwatergazette.com



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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



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.



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