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History
Minnesota National Guard
Norwegian Exchange brings relatives together

OLSO, Norway " For two distant relatives living over 4,000 miles apart, it was a chance to finally meet  The 38th Annual Norwegian Exchange program provided the opportunity for Senior Airman Ali Sonsteby, 133rd Airlift Wing Maintenance Squadron, to meet Gunnar Fridtjof Thurmann Sonsteby for the first time

"I am very thankful for this opportunity to meet Gunnar," said Ali "It was an amazing experience"

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Gunnar Sonsteby is the currently the most highly decorated person in Norway He was recognized for his work as a Norwegian resistance fighter during World War II His list of awards includes, but is not limited to the War Cross with three Swords, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St Olav, Norwegian Defense Medal with laurel branch, Norwegian Police Cross of Honour, Distinguished Service Order, Presidential Medal of Freedom, the American-Scandinavian Foundation's Culture Award and he was the first non-American awarded the United States Special Operations Command Medal in 2008

"I was hunted by the Gestapo for five years and after five years they didn't find me," said Gunnar  "I guess they didn't win; I won," he added

While Ali was deployed with the 133rd Airlift Wing to Afghanistan in 2010, Gunnar came to United States for the signing of his book "Report From 24" While in the US, Gunnar made contact with Ali's aunt and met the Sonsteby family  Because of her deployment, Ali missed the chance to meet Gunnar

"I was disappointed that I did not get to see Gunnar when he came to the US in 2010, but I knew I had an obligation, he would have the patience to understand, to fulfill my military duty as an Airman," said Sonsteby

"Gunnar made a big impact in a war and here I am in a different one," said Alicia "Knowing his success makes me proud to be in the military and a part of my family"

Gunnar ended the meeting by autographing a copy of his book for Ali

Story and photos by Pfc Trisha Betz
1/34th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
18 Feb 2011





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Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



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.



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