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Minnesota National Guard
Willmar to receive Yellow Ribbon City award for service to military members

WILLMAR — The city of Willmar will be designated as part of a statewide group that connects and coordinates organizations, agencies and companies to provide support for members of the armed forces and their families

Local leaders of HomeFront Connection will receive Willmar’s designation as a Yellow Ribbon City, part of a comprehensive support program for service members and their families called Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

HomeFront Connection members Kammy Nelson of Willmar, coordinator, and Conrad Bostron of Spicer, chairman, will receive the designation on behalf of the city during a program Sept 22 in Farmington Twelve other cities, two counties and seven companies will also receive the designation from Gov Tim Pawlenty

Nelson and Bostron announced Willmar’s upcoming designation during the regular City Council meeting Tuesday night About a year ago, Nelson and Bostron appeared before the council to say that an effort was under way to pursue the Yellow Ribbon designation

Nelson said local volunteers submitted an action plan to train and empower community leaders to support service members and their families during deployment and during reintegration into civilian life A training event pulled people in from various sectors of the community

“I feel like we’ve got an awesome team,’’ said Nelson
The group’s mission is to connect military families to their community by organizing family support, providing community education and recognizing service members and their families
Bostron said he thinks the group is reflective of local and area individuals in the service

“We’re fighting a worldwide war on terror and defending our nation and its separate and individual needs with an all-volunteer force, and we’re also doing this as an all-volunteer organization without any outside funding and any sponsorship beside our own fundraising,’’ said Bostron

He said HomeFront Connection volunteers have been involved in everything from fundraising to babysitting to painting to light home construction

“We virtually have been able to meet every need that’s been presented to us one way or other or get them to the resource that could help,’’ said Bostron

Council members thanked Nelson and Bostron for their leadership

Jim Dokken, past commander of the Disabled American Veterans and Willmar American Legion, said HomeFront Connection complements the work of national veterans’ organizations Dokken said Trisha Appeldorn, Kandiyohi County veterans service officer, also has played a big role in the effort
“Other organizations can’t do it all,’’ said Dokken “It’s nice to have another organization because there’s a lot of heavy lifting that goes on and we can’t do it all in our organizations’’

By: David Little, West Central Tribune
Published September 09 2010

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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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