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The Cities Category Archive: Veterans

Troops showing signs of strain after nearly 10 years of war

The nation has about 12,000 special operations forces deployed around the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. But after nearly 10 years at war, commanders this week said they're worried about the toll repeated deployments are taking on troops and their families.

Minnesota's Army National Guard 34th Infantry Division, known as the Red Bulls, are preparing for another deployment. Maj. Gen. Richard Nash announced recently that about 2,400 soldiers are expected to start training in May and head to Kuwait, where they will provide security as US troops pull out.

This will be yet another deployment for many of these soldiers, who've already served in Iraq or Afghanistan over the last several years.

From the AP's Lolita C. Baldor's story on concerns about the effects of repeated deployment on special operations forces:
Adm. Eric T. Olson ... said the demand for the specialized units in Afghanistan is insatiable, forcing troops to deploy to war at a rate that is off the charts. And he said he does not see that demand declining in the next several years. Officials say they are taking measures to ease the strain on service members and families and devoting more resources to programs for wounded and ill service members.

Scientists at the Minneapolis VA have been studying National Guard soldiers to try and pinpoint why some people are more resilient to combat stress than others, and to research the connection between PTSD, TBI, concussion and other things.

They expect to release more findings this spring.

Posted at 12:10 PM on February 9, 2011 by Jessica Mador
Article source
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/cities/archive/veterans/



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US State Partnership Programme improves regional security

Posted: 2015-03-30  10:37 AM
Croatia SPP The US has been aiding countries in the region to improve their defence and military capacities as well as their relations with the NATO. The main tool for this goal is the US State Partnership Programme, in which the US National Guard partners with states from the former Soviet Bloc.

"In the process of upgrading the capabilities of the armed forces of small, transitional countries, co-operation with developed, democratic countries and their military structures [is necessary]," Zvonimir Mahecic, an external expert at the Institute for International Relations in Zagreb and a retired colonel from the Croatian military, told SETimes. "Through joint activities, militaries as well as civilians of small countries are getting a chance to learn from the experiences of military structures that had passed through significant development and adjustment to the needs of combat and non-combat operations of the 21st century. This kind of co-operation represents a great chance to transfer knowledge and achieve implementation. One example of this type of co-operation is between the Minnesota National Guard and Croatian."



Gold Star Fathers Share Story of Love, Service and Sacrifice

Posted: 2015-03-25  08:45 AM
Gold Star CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - "A Gold Star family member is a person who has lost a loved one who was serving our nation in the armed forces regardless of the circumstances of the death," said Survivor Outreach Services provider Amy Garber.

Bill Smith, father of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, and Richard Cauley, father of Spc. George Cauley, two Gold Star dads, recently spoke about their sons and what it means to be a Gold Star father.

"Everyone's greatest fear is the thought they'll say something awkward [to a Gold Star family member]. We want to talk about our loved ones. The greatest sadness would be that no one would remember," said Bill Smith.



334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Celebrates Women's History

Posted: 2015-03-22  01:39 PM
Women's History BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Soldiers of Headquarters, Headquarters Company of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion took time away from training to celebrate Women's History Month with a look at the history of women in the Minnesota National Guard from someone who lived it.

Invited to speak at the event was Geraldine Longfellow. In 2008, Longfellow retired from the Minnesota Army National Guard at the rank of lieutenant colonel. She has since been brevetted to the rank of colonel.



Camp Ripley Guardsman Recognized as "Big Brother of the Year"

Posted: 2015-03-18  03:40 PM
Big Brother CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - For many Service members of the Minnesota National Guard, dedication to the community is as high of a priority as any other mission.

"We feel it is our duty, in our own communities, to ensure that our friends and neighbors are taken care of," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Ryan Ross.

Ross, who has been an active member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota for over three years, as well as a member of the Minnesota National Guard, was recently recognized by the agency as "Big Brother of the Year" for the State of Minnesota.



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