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Minnesota National Guard
Red Bulls begin reintegration

Red Bull Soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division, who recently returned from Iraq and Kuwait, participated in their 30-day reintegration event at the Minneapolis Convention Center Mar 6

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Brig Gen Kelly's opening comments referenced the movie, "The Best Years of Our Lives" The story centers around three servicemen trying to piece their lives back together after coming home from World War II Much like the Service members in the movie, the returning Red Bulls are in the beginning stages of piecing their lives back together as they go back to being civilians again The 30-day reintegration helps returning Soldiers and their family members connect with service providers who can assist them in overcoming the challenges of reintegration

A multitude of organizations lined the hallway as Soldiers stopped at the various booths to gather information  Not only was this a time to gather handouts and meet points of contact within the organizations, it was a time for Soldiers to reconnect with their fellow friends they spent a year with on a deployment In this reunion-like atmosphere, it took longer than expected to get through the many booths since there were so many fellow Soldiers to reacquaint with and share stories  In the end, Soldiers were able to reaffirm what benefits they are entitled to and what resources are available to help them to overcome the challenges of reintegration

Soldiers had the opportunity to tailor their morning and afternoon to the sessions that applied to their lives Some of the seminars focused on topics like new and established marriages, parenting and TriCare medical insurance to name a few Each experienced presenter provided good information in dealing with the issues that can arise from being away from home for so long

"The reintegration event was helpful" commented one Red Bull Soldier "I realized that it might not be necessary for me to take back some of the duties my husband inherited while I was deployed  Hopefully that lasts a long time!" 

By Capt Kristin Augé
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
6 Mar, 2010


 





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