/*********************************************** * 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
Event distributes computers to military families

Written by
Ben Katzner
bkatzner@stcloudtimescom

It’s no surprise that having a loved one who serves in the military is stressful

The uncertainty that builds during the time friends and family spend apart from them can be agonizing Dan Shannon wants to change that

That’s what brought Shannon, the president and founder of Operation Homelink, to the St Cloud National Guard Training and Community Center on Sunday afternoon

The Chicago-based nonprofit organization is on a mission to provide refurbished computers to families of deployed soldiers It worked with the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Family Programs team to present the computers

“It’s just nice to see that they’re trying to keep the soldiers connected to the families,” said Sarah Imdieke, 23, of Sauk Centre, “to have that little piece of home with (us) while we’re gone for such a long a period of time that’s wonderful”

At Sunday’s event, 150 desktop computers were given to families with members in the 34th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team The group is scheduled to be deployed in May to the Middle East

“We started the organization a little over eight years ago and since that time, we’ve delivered 3,500 computers to both families of deployed soldiers as well as laptops to wounded soldiers,” Shannon said

Imdieke will be one of the soldiers deploying in May It’s her first deployment, and with a family computer that’s less than reliable, her mother, Diane, said Operation Homelink is a blessing

“We want to be able to see her when she’s away, so to have a computer that has that capability will be great,” she said “For parents, it’s like, well, they could say they’re OK in a letter, or on the phone, but just seeing them, it makes a world of difference, I think”

Shannon said his inspiration for starting the project came almost a year after Sept 11 and watching images of soldiers being deployed to serve their country

“Seeing a father saying goodbye to his wife and kids, as a father of four myself, really hit home with me,” he said “Because I’ve not served myself, I wanted to do something to give a little something back”

Shannon isn’t alone The computers given away Sunday came from a Massachusetts-based company called Raytheon, which already had donated 110 refurbished computers to families of the Massachusetts National Guard Microsoft donates free software updates for the machines and all the work in setting up the event Sunday was done by volunteers

“Everything was 100 percent volunteer-driven,” said Sgt Amy Monson, family programs noncommissioned officer in charge for the state of Minnesota

All that effort wasn’t lost on Diane Imdieke

“I think it’s going to make a world of difference,” she said

“It’s huge in today’s age, it’s instant communication instead of waiting for a letter back and forth,” Monson said “And the soldiers feel that connection with their family because they know that yesterday (something) happened instead of three weeks ago (something) happened”

And that’s exactly the point, Shannon said Seeing families walk away with something that he knows will make a world of difference makes all the hard work worth it, he said But Shannon also was quick to note that Operation Homelink is more than just a giveaway The soldiers and their families pay a price

“While there is no money exchanged for these computers they’re not free, these computers were earned when these soldiers signed up with the National Guard,” Shannon said “We’re here to support all of them, to be able to give a little something back to those families that are making sacrifices for the rest of America We’re proud to be able to do this work”

2 comments
graniteeyes
6:58 AM on April 4, 2011

What a wonderful project Thank You!!!!

Quack_Quack76
5:27 PM on April 4, 2011

What a great idea and great program to match the idea Kudos!

Article source
http://www.sctimes.com/article/20110404/NEWS01/104040036/1001/News/Event-distributes-computers-military-families-



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



148th Fighter Wing hosts STEM program for Duluth-area students

Posted: 2018-06-05  08:52 AM
Starbase Duluth DULUTH, Minn. - Dozens of community and industry leaders passionate about helping children become more engaged in science, technology, engineering and math gathered at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn., May 24, 2018, to see what STARBASE Minnesota Duluth is doing for young students in the area.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense youth program that engages students in STEM studies. The program began in 1991, and STARBASE Minnesota was founded in 1993 in St. Paul, which expanded to Duluth in July 2017.

Currently, the school program is open to fifth-grade students, said Charity S. Rupp, the director of STARBASE Minnesota Duluth. The summer camp will serve students in 4-6th grade. Eventually, she hopes the program will expand into STARBASE 2.0 to serve middle school students as an after school program during the academic school year.



Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Article archive
 
top