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Minnesota National Guard
Our View: Yellow Ribbon work isn't finished

Tuesday was a big day if you know a Red Bull The fourth and final wave of returning National Guard Soldiers belonging to Minnesota's 34th Infantry Division arrived home after a year-long deployment, most of it spent in southern Iraq

Over the last month more than 1,200 Red Bulls, as their unit is historically known, returned to family and friends at their home armories in Stillwater, Rosemount and Inver Grove Heights The returning Soldiers were missing three of their comrades - Carlos Wilcox, Daniel Drevnick and James Wertish were killed July 16, 2009 in an attack on their base in Basra, Iraq

But despite the heartache that unit members will carry with them after the death of three of their brothers in arms, there was still reason for the Red Bulls to smile as they came back to homecoming ceremonies worthy of their service and job well done

Although their year-long mission to assist Iraqi forces in improving their security for citizens in southern Iraq is now complete, ours isn't

News reports in the last week have revealed that more than 2,500 Red Bulls are owed $10 million in overtime pay by the federal government for their deployment three years ago Many of those Soldiers served again in the unit's most recent deployment On top of that startling news is word from Minnesota National Guard officials that up to a third of the returning Red Bulls will arrive home without a job waiting for them

Those two facts alone are enough evidence to deduce that these returning Soldiers and their families still need our support A welcome home ceremony is a wonderful way to express gratitude

But it means nothing if we as a community forget their sacrifice the next day, week or month

The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon projects of Woodbury and Washington County have made some tremendous strides in the last year to develop a network of support for families of deployed Soldiers

However, as these Soldiers and families try to regain that sense of "normal," we ask that those in the community who have not yet found a way to participate in the area Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign please do so

These men and women who hail from Woodbury, Stillwater, Cottage Grove, Lakeland, Lake Elmo and many other communities all over the state took a year out of their lives to serve our country overseas They put their civilian lives on hold to preserve our comfort, security and freedom

At the very least, we ought to provide some additional resources to help them transition back to civilian life
To find out more how you, your business or organization can help these returning Soldiers, go to the "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" Web site at wwwbtyrorg

Published February 10 2010

Article source: http://www.woodburybulletin.com/event/article/id/33980/group/home/



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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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