| 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
Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM
LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.