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Minnesota National Guard
Bataan Death March survivor honored in Twins home opener

"It was a nice tribute," said Harold Kurvers, a Bataan Death March survivor  "I was so surprised when they asked me"

Kurvers was honored in pre-game ceremonies before the Minnesota Twins home opener Apr 9, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis  After the crowd game him a loud ovation, Kurvers raised the US Flag during the National Anthem

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After surviving the eight-day Bataan Death March in 1942 and spending time in prison camps in the Philippines, Kurvers and 1,600 others were herded onto a prison ship, the Oryoku Maru, bound for Japan in 1944

A day later, the ship was sunk by US aircraft, with the loss of more than 300 prisoners  Kurvers and others were transferred to another prison ship, the Enoura Maru When US aircraft damaged that ship, they were transferred to the Brazil Maru, which finally docked in Japan in late January 1945 Just 400 of the original 1,600 prisoners were still alive

Kurvers and the other prisoners of war were put in Japanese prison camps until finally being released at the end of the war in August 1945  Through it all, Kurvers often thinks about those that didn't make it

"I think of them a lot," said Kurvers  "They always refer to us as heroes, but the real heroes are still over there"

Kurvers credits his survival to his faith in God and his sense of humor  "It helped to have a sense of humor  It helped to get us through some tough times"

Raising the flag of his country before the Twins game was a real honor for Kurvers  It was extra special to have his daughter and one of his sons there to witness it

As Kurvers raised the US Flag to the top of the flagpole and as the National Anthem singers reached the last notes, four F-16 fighter jets raced across the sky  The F-16s, from the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, brought cheers from the crowd as they flew over Target Field

Members of the Minnesota National Guard also unraveled a 1,600-pound flag during the National Anthem  The US Flag, held by over 130 Soldiers and Airmen, covered the entire outfield of Target Field

It's hard to think of a better way open the Twins season than with the roar of fighter jets, unveiling a large US Flag and honoring a real American hero

By Master Sgt Rich Kemp
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
8 April, 2011


 





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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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