/*********************************************** * 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
Back home, a soldier becomes dad again (audio)

arger view
Jim Pereda packs a bag as Peggy Pereda jokes with their son, AJ, 6, in the living room of their Rogers, Minn home Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010 (MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

Rogers, Minn - Earlier this year, more than 1,200 members of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls came home from a year-long deployment The Red Bulls oversaw military command of the southern part of Iraq
When we first met the Pereda family, they were anxiously awaiting the return of National Guard Cpt Jim Pereda While he was deployed, the family kept in virtual touch by video chatting over the computer Minnesota Public Radio News caught up with the Peredas at their home in Rogers to find out how the homecoming has gone

WELCOME HOME DAD
About a week before Christmas this year, Charlie Pereda, 9, practiced piano by playing "Silent Night" in the glow of the Christmas tree Nearby, his younger sister and two younger brothers did homework and played videogames
Charlie started piano lessons a few months after his dad, Jim Pereda, returned from Iraq He said he likes having his dad back so they can do stuff like read together at night
arger view
Working with his kids
Last Christmas, Jim Pereda, 42, was still deployed While he was in Iraq, Pereda would wake up in the middle of the night Iraq time to call his family over the computer
At Christmas, the family set up a webcam so Pereda could talk to relatives and watch the kids open presents It's what a lot of service members do these days More than half the soldiers in Pereda's unit kept in touch with their families using web cams during the deployment
Pereda said the family celebrated Christmas again when he got back in February
"When I got home they had the tree up," he said, "they had all the Christmas lights on when I got home and presents underneath the tree, and so the first thing we did when we got in the house was we sat down and opened Christmas presents"
READJUSTING TO CIVILIAN LIFE
Now that he's home, they get plenty of in-person quality time Pereda has resumed his civilian job as a stay-at-home dad, but took him a while to get back in the swing of things
"I would be walking around and be like, why is the floor so messy," he said, "and it was like oh -- I guess I haven't vacuumed"
arger view
Talking about school work
Daily life can be overwhelming after deployment to a place like Iraq Pereda feels lucky that his job over there wasn't as dangerous as it could have been He spent most of his time in a concrete bunker doing his administrative job, but he's still had ups and downs since getting home
"Because you get used to the regimented life there and things and then when you come home and you've got 45 different ways you can go, it's a lot harder on some people," he said "It's almost like you get institutionalized
"Just even going out to dinner; you open up a menu and you're like, 'I got 45 choices? I don't just walk through a line and grab what is there?'"
arger view
Veteran's Day poster
The kids briefly had trouble concentrating in school when he got back, and Jim Pereda and his wife Peggy, 40, had to renegotiate their routine
The Peredas said the Minnesota National Guard programs designed to help military service members and their families reintegrate successfully really helped them understand how to manage conflict at home and stay alert for signs of emotional trouble
But Peggy said Jim still had to re-acclimate to family life
"When he was done with work, when he was in Iraq he'd go back to his room or to the gym or whatever and his time was his," Peggy Pereda said "He didn't have to worry about getting anybody else to bed, getting homework done, any of that kind of stuff So I think that was probably one of the biggest adjustments for him being back"
Pereda said she and her husband have handled his return well because it wasn't his first deployment Between the Navy and the National Guard, Pereda has 20 years in the military Still, it was an adjustment for the family -- just like it was when he deployed
"Everything is unsettled, you know, everything is thrown up in the air and we have to figure out how it's going to be So in that sense it's the same both times," she said
Peggy Pereda is a statistician at Boston Scientific When her husband was gone, she got up extra early and stayed up late to juggle her duties at work and at home She had no downtime, so she really appreciated her generosity of her friends
"So, one day I came home from work -- I still get choked up -- the neighbor is on a ladder putting up my Christmas lights," she said
The neighborly gesture caught her off guard, and it was help when she most needed it
About a month after Jim Pereda got they had a party
"I guess we called it a 'Welcome Home' party, but in our eyes it was a 'Thank You' party," Jim Pereda said "Peggy and the kids sat down and wrote down all these cards and put them all over the tables, like: thank you for putting up our Christmas lights, thank you for shoveling the driveway, thank you for dinner, thank you for putting the wrap around our trees, thanks for mowing the lawn"
Pereda said he's still getting used to how much his kids have grown since he deployed This month, all four were all big enough to help decorate the house for Christmas

by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
December 28, 2010

More from MPR
Red Bulls: Beyond Deployment

 

Article source, with audio
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/12/27/pereda-red-bulls-home/



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.



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.



Article archive
 
top