| South-west prepares troop send-offs
Soldiers in Battery A & B to serve in Kuwait
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — More than 1,200 people are expected to attend a military parade and send-off for soldiers in the B Battery of the 125th Field Artillery Sunday in Fairmont The unit consists of soldiers serving in the Fairmont and Jackson National Guard
At the same time, organizers in Rock County are planning for a military parade on Memorial Day, May 30, in Luverne, for soldiers in the A Battery of the 125th, which includes soldiers serving in the Luverne-Pipestone National Guard
The two batteries include more than 260 soldiers, many living in southwest Minnesota, who will be deployed to Kuwait sometime this summer
Battery A Captain Brian Douty, Pipestone, said the soldiers from Pipestone-Luverne and Jackson-Fairmont will depart for Camp Ripley on Sunday, where they will complete all of their necessary paperwork prior to deployment They will return to southwest Minnesota on May 29
“We’re home for four days and then we’ll depart for Fort McCoy, Wis, on June 2,” said Douty It’s uncertain how long they will be at Fort McCoy, but it is estimated to be 45 to 60 days before they are sent overseas
While stationed near Kuwait, Douty said the soldiers will provide convoy security, base defense and general security in the area around Kuwait and Iraq
The estimated one-year deployment means the soldiers should return home in May 2012
Soldiers serving in the B Battery will march from the Five Lakes Center mall to the National Guard Armory in Fairmont beginning at noon Sunday
The military parade will be led by members of the American Legion and VFW and will also include the Jackson County Central drum corps, the Fairmont High School band and fire trucks representing each of the towns in Martin and Jackson counties
They will be followed by the 130 soldiers of Battery B in a march down the nearly two-mile route, according to Ken Craig, one of the event organizers
“We’re encouraging people to wear red and line up along the parade route,” added Bob Wallace, president of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce Red “Support our Troops” T-shirts have been sold in recent weeks for the parade
When the soldiers arrive at the Armory, they will be transported to the arena on the Martin County Fairgrounds for a pork patty luncheon with their families They will then board buses to depart for Camp Ripley
When the soldiers return to Fairmont May 29, the Martin County Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign will host several activities for the families of the deploying soldiers, according to campaign member Tamara Plumhoff
Events begin on May 30, with a memorial parade at 10 am, followed by a picnic at the Red Rock Center for the Arts, 222 E Blue Earth Ave, Fairmont All military personnel, active and retired, are welcome to attend with a spouse for free, while the general public may purchase a ticket at the center the day of the meal
Coinciding with the Memorial Day events in Fairmont will be train rides, a petting zoo and face painting for the children, and an Honor Program featuring Robert and Patty Posivio of Sherburn as guest speakers The Posivios lost their son, Daniel, to a car crash while he was home on leave from the Navy A few years later, son Robby was killed in Iraq
On Tuesday and Wednesday, activities are planned for families of the deploying soldiers, as those who live outside the 50-mile radius of Fairmont are required to stay in the community The events include pontoon tours of the Fairmont lakes by the Let’s Go Fishing program and early bird specials at Rose Lake Golf Course
Tuesday evening will include bowling, pizza and bars for the military families at Bowlmor Lanes, while Wednesday night will be a Red Bull Rodeo at the Fairmont Holiday Inn, featuring a mechanical bull, calf roping for the kids and a chuck wagon buffet, followed by DJ music
“We try to create activities we can do so the time is more positive than just dreading when (the soldiers) leave,” said Plumhoff
Peggy Adams, chair of the Rock County Citizens Committee that is organizing the send-off for the Luverne-Pipestone National Guard troops, said there will be a military parade at 12:30 pm May 30 The nearly 135 soldiers in the A Battery will march from the Luverne National Guard Armory to the Luverne Elementary commons The public is invited and encouraged to line the streets and provide a proper send-off
The troops will be met by the Patriot Guard and members of the VFW at the school, and will then march into the gymnasium for a 1 pm program that will include performances by the Luverne High School band, and several speakers to include Capt Douty, Luverne VFW Commander Bill Martin, Luverne Mayor Pat Baustian, Rep Joe Schomaker, and Rep Tim Walz District 22 Sen Doug Magnus will attend after presenting the Memorial Day program in Pipestone
Lt Col Troy Soukup, Battalion commander, will issue the order to the soldiers prior to their departure, while a mass presentation of the colors will be conducted by members of the Hardwick, Hills and Luverne American Legions
Following the event, the Rock County Dairy Association will host an ice cream social, with financial contributions provided by both the Rock County Corn Growers and the Cornerstone Co-op An estimated 1,000 people are expected to attend
Adams said the public is invited back to Luverne on June 2, when the soldiers from Pipestone and Luverne will board three buses prior to their departure to Fort McCoy, Wis
“They will drive down Main Street and Highway 75, and we want people out waving flags to give them a good send-off,” Adams said
Published May 09, 2011, 10:37 PM
Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program to be recognized on State Fair Military Appreciation Day
Posted: 2016-08-26 03:01 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
The sixth annual Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair presented by USAA on Tuesday, August 30, will recognize Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community.
"Veterans, active duty service members, and military families deserve our immense gratitude for their sacrifice and commitment," said Governor Mark Dayton. "Since 2008, over 290 cities, counties, businesses and non-profits have joined Minnesota's "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" program, and are now providing community support and employment assistance to veterans and military families. I thank these organizations for their leadership, and encourage all Minnesotans to thank and support our military heroes."
A 10:00 a.m. program at the Minnesota State Fair's Leinie Lodge Bandshell will celebrate Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program. The program will conclude at 10:25 a.m. with a historic flyover of World War II-era P6 and B25 aircraft.
Willmar-based National Guardsmen to return home Saturday
Posted: 2016-08-25 03:26 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
More than 150 Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's 682nd Engineer Battalion will return to Willmar Saturday following a mobilization in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
"The Soldiers of Task Force Wild excelled in their mission, and were recognized across the theater for their hard work and dedication," said Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon, battalion commander. "I couldn't be prouder of how our Soldiers represented the State of Minnesota."
The mission of the Task Force was to provide horizontal and vertical engineer construction in support of coalition forces in the region. The Soldiers oversaw the planning and execution of 285 construction projects with an approximate total value of 20.2 million dollars in seven countries: Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
Minnesota Identification Card will no longer grant access to Department of Defense installations
Posted: 2016-08-19 01:53 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
With the implementation of the "REAL ID Act" going into effect at Department of Defense installations nationwide, access will no longer be granted to Minnesotans carrying standard state-issued identification cards. Beginning this week, Minnesota residents will be required to have an approved escort or use alternative forms of identification to access the following installations:
- 133rd Airlift Wing, St. Paul
- 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth
- 934th Joint Base, Minneapolis
- Military Facility at Fort Snelling
Without a 'Real ID,' access will be granted only to individuals with an approved escort (i.e. a service member with a Common Access Card), or carrying one of the approved alternative forms of acceptable ID.
General John W. Vessey, Jr. - The 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Posted: 2016-08-19 08:22 AM
General John W. Vessey, Jr., a former member of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and the 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away August 18, 2016, at the age of 94.
General John W. Vessey, Jr. was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 29 June 1922. He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in May 1939 while still in high school, becoming a member of Headquarters, 59th Field Artillery Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. He was only 16 and fibbed about his age to join. With other members of his unit he was called to active duty in February 1941. When war came, the 34th became the first American division sent to Europe, where it initially fought in North Africa and then in Italy. A natural leader, Vessey rose quickly in the enlisted ranks until 6 May 1944 when, pinned down on the Anzio Beachhead amidst high casualties, the 21-year old battery first sergeant was given a battlefield commission and sent forward to direct artillery fire.
Vessey decided to stay in the Army after war. During his first 30 years of military service, he spent most of his time in combat divisions. In addition to his World War II assignment with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in North Africa and Italy, Vessey served with the 4th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Division in Germany, the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and was commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson, Colorado.
He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also graduated from the University of Maryland. His love of flying prompted him to earn his wings, which he always wore proudly. When he graduated from the Army Helicopter School in 1970, he was 15 years older than the next oldest student.