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Minnesota National Guard
County gains national award for Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program

Washington County has garnered a national award for its Yellow Ribbon Network of Washington County program, and will be recognized at a ceremony in Washoe County, Nev, in July

The county will be recognized in the 14th Annual Awards Ceremony during the 75th annual conference of the National Association of Counties July 18

The award is "in recognition of an effective and innovative program which contributes to and enhances county government in the United States"

The Yellow Ribbon movement in Washington County got its start when Minnesota National Guard Lt. Col. John Morris extended an invitation to the Washington County Board of Commissioners in 2008 to talk about the experience and needs of deployed members of the military, and their families The impetus also came from the board members learning about the needs for human services for service personnel and their families before, during, and after a deployment

Later, Washington County board members expressed their interest in finding ways to collaborate in supporting the troops and their families The Yellow Ribbon Network of Washington County is a network of schools, faith communities, service agencies, and organizations, the employers and businesses that are the fabric of the community, and meets the Minnesota National Guard's criteria to become a Yellow Ribbon County

The county was declared a Yellow Ribbon County by Gov Tim Pawlenty in January

Washington County is home to 130 soldiers deployed from the Minnesota National Guard to Iraq in 2009, and many other personnel on active duty with the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard The county board provided leadership and coordination with members of the community and other local governments to build the network

The operating and capital costs of starting, maintaining, and further development of the Yellow Ribbon Network of Washington County are minimal, and support is provided by the Minnesota National Guard

For more information about the Yellow Ribbon Network, visit www.minnesotanationalguard.org/btyr

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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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