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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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Minnesota National Guard and central Minnesota communities honor Memorial Day together

Posted: 2015-05-22  11:44 AM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY - Garrison staff of Camp Ripley and other members of the Minnesota National Guard will take part in events this weekend honoring those who died in service to the United States.

"As members of the local community, we are honored to participate in Memorial Day events," said Lt. Col. Chad Sackett, deputy garrison commander at Camp Ripley. "It is right and fitting that we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of those who died in service to our nation."

Minnesota National Guard members are speaking at events throughout the Memorial Day weekend. For those interested in attending a Memorial Day ceremony, here are a few of the listings for central Minnesota:



Fort Hood shooting victim's family receives posthumous Purple Heart medal

Posted: 2015-05-22  08:00 AM
Purple Heart ST. PAUL, Minn. - More than five years after Pfc. Kham See Xiong lost his life in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the Xiong family received his Purple Heart in a Ceremony during Hmong American Day in St. Paul, Minn.

"Kham was an American Solider, a Hmong-American who raised his right hand and swore to defend the constitution of the United States, a Hero," said keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Kent D. Savre, Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Savre served as commander of the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood during the attack.

Four hundred members of the Hmong and St. Paul community crowded into the Harriet Island Pavilion as rain fell, May 14, 2015, to witness the Purple Heart Ceremony.



148th Fighter Wing Excels at Combat Hammer

Posted: 2015-05-21  03:44 PM
Combat Hammer HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah - Approximately 180 Airmen and Block 50 F-16's from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. participated in an exercise known as Combat Hammer while at Hill AFB, Utah in early May 2015. Combat Hammer is a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) that evaluates weapon systems in their entirety.

While the exercise was about a week long for most 148FW Airmen, it was quite a bit longer for those Airmen actually building the bombs and missiles. "Typically, we are one of the first assets to show up at a deployment," said 2nd Lt. Mylii Pukema, 148FW Munitions Officer. "We show up about a week before most everyone else, so we can build up the weapons and have them ready when the jets arrive."

"It's a common misconception that weapons come already built," said Pukema. "Different weapons have different levels of configuration that have to happen. It can be a lot of detail that goes into configuring a weapon or it can be relatively simple, it just depends on the mission."

148FW Munition's Airmen were evaluated from the time the weapon came out of the box. How they practiced safety and followed tech data during the building of the weapon were key components to the evaluation process.



Red Bulls Welcome New Command Sergeant Major

Posted: 2015-05-17  10:38 AM
34ID change of responsibility ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - Soldiers and family members of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division gathered at the division headquarters Sunday, May 17, 2015 to witness the change of responsibility of the Division command sergeant major.

"We are here to say thank you and farewell to Command Sgt. Maj. Joel Arnold and welcome Command Sgt. Maj. John Lepowsky as the new command sergeant major of the 34th Infantry Division," said Brig. Gen. Benjamin Corell, assistant division commander of maneuver.

According to General Baron Friedrich von Steuben, inspector general of the Continental Army in 1779, "The choice of non-commissioned officers is an object of greatest importance: The order and discipline of a regiment depends so much on their behavior, that too much care cannot be taken in preferring none to that trust but those who by their merit and good conduct are entitled to it."



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