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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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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.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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