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Minnesota National Guard
Deploying Soldier saves neighbors from house fire

ALBERT LEA, Minn- Staff Sgt Kevin Clapper and his wife Tina were awakened by their son, Alex, early Wednesday morning who had noticed the light cast by their neighbor's burning house Kevin dialed 911 as Tina beat on the doors and threw rocks at the neighbor's windows to alert them to the danger Kevin then grabbed a ladder and performed a second-floor rescue The first window would not open "I moved to a second window," said Clapper "That opened, billowing smoke" Beth Sackson emerged followed by her fiancée Kristopher Schewe

Clapper's daughter, Spc Amber Steele, a medic with the 204th Area Support Medical Company, helped calm and clothe her neighbors "Amber moved so quick," said her mother TIna Clapper "She was up the ladder probably before it was up to the window"

"I'm so grateful for my husband and daughter's military training," said Tina "Their minds must have been moving at 100 miles per hour!"

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The Albert Lea Police and Fire Departments quickly arrived and eventually extinguished the large fire Lt Dennis Glassel of the Albert Lea Fire Department said the Clapper family's quick work probably saved two lives

The Clapper family house was damaged in the fire as well They lost part of their deck, a great deal of paint, and 4 windows were cracked

The Albert Lea area chapter of the Minnesota National Guard's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program has already stepped forward to offer assistance to the Soldier's family This chapter is working toward certification from Gov Mark Dayton as an official Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Community

Clapper's Minnesota National Guard unit, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry, plans to officially recognize the Clapper family for their quick thinking action in saving their neighbor's lives

Clapper will deploy to Kuwait this summer with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division in support of Operation New Dawn, the drawdown phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom

Albert Lea is just beginning the process of establishing a Yellow Ribbon network To learn how you can get involved contact the Mankato Family Assistance Center at 651-268-8413 or visit BeyondTheYellowRibbonorg

By Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ewer
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
13 April, 2011




Related stories

http://www.albertleatribune.com/2011/04/13/couple-survives-nighttime-house-fire


http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/04/13/albert-lea-couple-saved-from-fire-by-neighbors



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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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