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Minnesota National Guard
The Wars That America Forgot About

By TOM BROKAW

IN what promises to be the most contentious midterm election since 1994, there is no shortage of passion about big issues facing the country: the place and nature of the federal government in America's future; public debt; jobs; health care; the influence of special interests; and the role of populist movements like the Tea Party

In nearly every Congressional and Senate race, these are the issues that explode into attack ads, score points in debates and light up cable talk shows In poll after poll, these are the issues that voters say are most important to them this year

Notice anything missing on the campaign landscape?
How about war? The United States is now in its ninth year of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest wars in American history Almost 5,000 men and women have been killed More than 30,000 have been wounded, some so gravely they're returning home to become, effectively, wards of their families and communities

In those nine years, the United States has spent more than $1 trillion on combat operations and other parts of the war effort, including foreign aid, reconstruction projects, embassy costs and veterans' health care And the end is not in sight

So why aren't the wars and their human and economic consequences front and center in this campaign, right up there with jobs and taxes?

The answer is very likely that the vast majority of Americans wake up every day worrying, with good reason, about their economic security, but they can opt out of the call to arms Unless they are enlisted in the armed services - or have a family member who has stepped forward - nothing much is asked of them in the war effort

The all-volunteer uniformed services now represent less than 1 percent of the American population, but they're carrying 100 percent of the battle It's not unusual to meet an Army infantryman or Marine who has served multiple tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan

Moreover, the majority of those in uniform come from working-class or middle-class backgrounds The National Guard units and reserve forces that have been called up, some for more than one tour, draw heavily on first responders, as well as farm, factory and service workers

Their families live in their own war zone At a recent Minnesota event for military families, I heard Annette Kuyper, the mother of a National Guardsman who had an extended deployment in Iraq, describe how she and other Guard mothers changed their lives while their children were in harm's way "We close the blinds on the windows overlooking the driveway," she said, "so we don't see the Army vehicle arriving with a chaplain bearing the unbearable news"

This woman's son returned safely, but too many do not
As the campaign season careens to an end, military funerals will be held in country burial grounds, big city graveyards and at Arlington National Cemetery Military families will keep the blinds closed on the windows facing the driveway

While campaigns trade shouts of witchcraft, socialism, greed, radicalism (on both sides), warriors and their families have a right to ask, "What about us?" If this is an election about a new direction for the country, why doesn't some candidate speak up for equal sacrifice on the home front as well as the front lines?

This is not just about military families, as important as they are We all would benefit from a campaign that engaged the vexing question of what happens next in the long and so far unresolved effort to deal with Islamic rage

No decision is more important than committing a nation to war It is, as politicians like to say, about our blood and treasure Surely blood and treasure are worthy of more attention than they've been getting in this campaign
Tom Brokaw, a special correspondent for NBC News, is the author, most recently, of "Boom! Talking About the '60s"

Published: October 17, 2010
Op-Ed Contributor Fogelson-Lubliner
Article source
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/18/opinion/18brokaw.html?_r=1&th&emc=th



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Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



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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.



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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.



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