/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Soldiers surprised with puppies

MANKATO — The boy is fixed on taking his new puppy for a walk, even in the middle of a department store Can he do it now, Dad? How about now?

“This is the best day of my life,” the 5-year-old says while holding the leash Sunday

oldiersPuppies
The Vatter family, Mark, Cris and son Sam, play with their new puppy Sunday afternoon at Scheels in River Hills Mall in Mankato Vatter and another Minnesota National Guard Soldier were selected to receive the puppies after they wrote letters explaining why they could provide a good home
Dan Linehan


oldiersPuppies2
Spc Dan Barber of the Minnesota National Guard holds his puppy, Pat, after being surprised Sunday with the 12-week-old black lab He had been told he was joining the other Soldiers who had written letters about why they wanted a puppy, and was surprised to actually receive one
Dan Linehan


The 20-something remembers the black lab he had as a teenager, and is already planning hunts with the puppy he’s holding for the first time He’s named the 12-week-old black lab Pat after General George S Patton, best known as a World War II commander

A 5-year-old, two veterans and two puppies given by surprise, all filmed for TV There will be tears

The Twin Cities National Guard Soldiers, who are back this year from deployments to Iraq, were lured to Mankato’s Scheels department store with various fictions The real goal of the event was to thrust the two adorable black lab puppies into their arms The veterans, along with many others, had written letters to organizer Stacy Dvorak of Shakopee explaining why they wanted puppies and how they could provide a good home for them

Sam, the 5-year-old, has already named his dog Pete, after a dog in the song “Sic ’em on a chicken” by the Zac Brown Band Pete is a willful puppy, and stands his ground as Sam tries to take him for that walk

“He has to learn real soon you’re the boss,” Sam’s dad, Lt. Col. Matt Vatter, tells him Vatter was in on the surprise, but Sam and his wife, Cris, say they definitely were not as she wipes tears from her eyes

“I felt bad, but Stacy swore me to secrecy on this one,” Matt Vatter said

Spc Dan Barber, 25, holds Pat, who seems about ready to fall asleep in his arms

Both dogs appear to have hunting in their futures Their grandpa was a national champion in a field competition, and both veterans have an interest in hunting

Dvorak, a member of the Scott County Pheasants Forever chapter, said they were looking for families who planned to bring the dogs outdoors The chapter has been working on ways to recognize veterans, both at an annual hunt and in the surprise dog give-a-ways

These dogs were the sixth and seventh puppies given away by Pheasants Forever and were donated by St James breeder JJ Kruchek

The surprise was held in Mankato because Scheels was enthusiastic to jump on board, Dvorak said The store filmed the event and donated $70 gift cards to each veteran

All told, including a year’s supply of dog food, the puppies and other accessories, the donations were worth $2,500

The surprise was also filmed by the program Women of the Wild Outdoors, which Dvorak said is planned to run next year on the Pursuit and Versus cable channels

The puppies, who come from a litter of nine, are put on the ground to rub noses a last time Their 5-year-old father, Mac, ambles around, not appearing too attached to his offspring

Vatter and Barber got puppies, but also something less tangible Both seemed to re-commit that afternoon to an outdoors past-time that’s been lost among the details of their busy adult lives

Barber picked up a decoy duck and thought about buying it to get started early on training Pat

Vatter grew up in Wisconsin, but no longer knows the people whose land he used to hunt

“Now it’s time to find new spots,” he said

December 20, 2010
By Dan Linehan Free Press Staff Writer


Article source
http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x1168758391/Soldiers-surprised-with-puppies



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."



Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

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.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

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."



Article archive
 
top