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Minnesota National Guard
Duluth WWII vet finally gets his battle medals

Gail “Bud” Freeman got his medals on Saturday — 65 years after he earned them in World War II

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Freeman, 90, who lives at St Ann’s Residence in Duluth, received the eight battle medals from US Sen Al Franken, with friends, family and an Honor Guard in attendance

He was one of the more than 600 125th Field Artillery Battalion members of the Minnesota National Guard who were inducted into federal service on Feb 10, 1941, and became part of the 34th Red Bull Division That division served 517 days in combat, more than any other unit in the war

Freeman and the rest of his division fought in Africa and Italy

In an interview, Freeman said he doesn’t know why he didn’t receive the medals after the war He received a letter a couple of months ago saying the medals were coming He heard nothing more until someone from Franken’s office called him a few days ago

The medal Freeman hoped to get was a Purple Heart, given to military members who are wounded while serving their country

Freeman was in the artillery, but he was attached to the infantry as a forward observer While fighting in Africa, he was wounded in the leg He went to an infantry aide station where the shrapnel was removed, but “it was never recorded that I was wounded,” he said

Still, he has compelling evidence that he was wounded “I’ve still got that piece of shrapnel,” he said

After the war, Freeman worked as a manager and buyer for Boyce Drug in Duluth, and then worked for 19 years as an engineer for Duluth schools

He is among the Red Bull Division veterans who have been gathering at the Pickwick restaurant every second Tuesday of the month since 1947 He said he doesn’t know where they’ll meet if the Pickwick hasn’t reopened by the second Tuesday of May

April 25 2010

Article source: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/166890/



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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



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.



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