/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
A Walk to Remember: Iraqi interpreter's dream comes true in Minnesota

When Hazim Nadoom was a child, his dream was to come to the United States, particularly to see “the land of 10,000 lakes” His dream came true in January, as the Iraqi interpreter made it to Minnesota to see some old friends

Hasim worked as an interpreter for the 1st Brigade Combat Team (1/34th BCT), 34th Red Bull Infantry Division during the brigade’s deployment in 2006-2007 in south central Iraq It was a dangerous job, but a vital one

Download photos
“Hazim interpreted on many occasions while I was treating Iraqi locals,” said Sgt Espen Hansen, a combat medic for E Company, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry (2-136th CAB) during the deployment  “From third-degree burns to broken arms to vehicle collisions, I don’t know how we could have communicated without him”

“Hazim was such a vital part of our mission success that I can’t imagine what we would have done without him,” said Cpt Peter DeCrans, a platoon leader with E Company, 2-136th CAB during the deployment “By having Hazim with us, we were able to work with Iraqi Police and Army units and go into local villages along vital supply routes”

“Hazim placed is life on the line in combat multiple times with us” DeCrans added,” and because of this, we all thought of Haz as a Red Bull Soldier and battle buddy”

Shortly after the 1/34th BCT departed, Hazim’s vehicle was hit by an IED, and he was medivaced to Bagdad After Hazim recovered, he worked with the US Air Force, training Iraqi fire fighters and first responders at Talill Air Force Base

Because of the dangers to his life and his meritorious service supporting the US military, Hazim was selected for a special Iraqi visa to immigrate to the US The process took two years and a lot of paper work, but Hazim finally made it to Minnesota in January 2010

“Since I was a kid, I was reading about Minnesota and because my parents worked in a school, I had access to books with pictures of Minnesota,” said Hazim   “It was so green, and my country is desert [so] I want to come”

Minnesota, of course, is lacking in green during the winter, and the cold and ice were quite a shock for a desert dweller with no experience with snow

Hazim was able to cope, however, through the warmth and kindness of his Red Bull friends Friends like Hansen and DeCrans, who, in May, joined Hazim in the Bataan Memorial March in Brainerd, Minn

It was something Hazim wanted to do, not only to honor the WWII veterans that suffered in the Philippines, but also to honor the Red Bull Soldiers he had known in Iraq, seven of whom were injured and one of whom had died

Also on his mind throughout the 20-mile march were the seven relatives and three friends he had lost

It’s all a bit improbable, really, that old war buddies can reunite from halfway across the world, a fact to which Hansen readily attests

“Three years ago, while performing combat operations in Iraq with Hazim,” said Hansen, “I couldn’t imagine that he would be marching by my side during the Bataan Memorial March in Brainerd, Minnesota”

However, with his old friends, Hansen and DeCrans by his side, Hazim’s steps were a little bit quicker  After all he has been through, what’s a little 20-mile hike?

By Master Sgt Rich Kemp
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
20 June, 2010


Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.

Article archive