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Minnesota National Guard
Community Honors Local Soldiers (video)

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Deployment day is fast approaching

A day when thousands of Minnesota's National Guard soldiers will leave for Iraq and Kuwait as part of the US drawdown phase of the Iraq war

And today the community of Albert Lea held a farewell party for those soldiers and their families

Family members of those with soldiers serving in the National Guard have been through a lot since hearing of their loved ones impending deployment

"This will be our fourth deployment so even with that being said, each deployment is different This time I have three children and they're all older this time I think it's probably easier when they were younger," says Tammy Estes, spouse of a deploying soldier

Jennifer Dahlen, also a spouse of a deploying soldier, says, "We have a lot of young spouses with young babies or are actually going to have babies when their husbands are gone"

The past few months have prepared them for what's to come but now it's all beginning to sink in

"Each family and each person goes through different feelings at different times and I'm more of the one that at the very end it kind of sinks in," says Estes

But they, along with their departing soldiers feel more secure knowing that they'll have the support of an entire community

"It's making it much easier to know that there's this thing or this entity that will take care of my wife when I leave She's a phone call away from getting support from the whole community," says Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Dahlen, of Delta Company

"It's great that in times of need the soldiers can concentrate on their mission and their families are taken care of so whether it's someone to shovel the snow or mow the lawn," says Estes

With their bags packed, the troops cherish nights like this one but are eager to move forward and look forward to when it's all over

"Unfortunately part of our mission is this federal deal where we have to go overseas and take care of what needs to be taken care of and I'm at the point of let's get this started so I can get home in a year," says Dahlen

The band that played for the troops and their families tonight volunteered their time and all the funds raised at the event will go toward helping the families of deploying soldiers

Posted at: 05/07/2011 10:52 PM
By: Andrew Lovelette

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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."

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."

Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."

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.

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