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History
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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The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



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Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
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The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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