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Minnesota National Guard
U to study family challenges of returning Guard members

Posted by: Jeremy Olson Updated: May 18, 2011 - 10:37 AM

Minnesotans returning from National Guard deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq have often found it challenging to resume everyday life Conditioned to take cover from explosions, many have felt unnerved by loud noises back home Trained to scan roadways for insurgents or roadside bombs, many have felt anxious in heavy traffic on 35W or on residential streets cluttered with trash bins and obstacles

A frustration for some returnees is the difficulty in reconnecting with their families -- their spouses and their suddenly older children who got by in their absence by developing their own routines Gwen Zimmerman and her husband both were deployed as members of the Minnesota National Guard -- in one case their deployments overlapped and their children stayed with in-laws -- and found the returns challenging

"For me, it was hard to be the outsider looking in at my own family It had been six months and I felt like I was still watching my family through the lens of a video camera instead of actually being there," she said

A new University of Minnesota study is examining this problem and what types of supports work best for Guard members once they have returned home to their families In collaboration with researchers at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, the U will recruit 400 Guard and Reserve families for the study (Eligible families must include recently deployed Guard members who have children in the 5-12 age range)

Participating families will either receive existing support options or a new service called ADAPT (After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools) that has been tailor-made for military families in the National Guard and Reserves The families will be interviewed four times over two years to evaluate their progress and to see if the ADAPT program offers superior results

According to a U of M press release, families will be paid $400 to $635 over the course of the study Parents in the 14-week parenting program will also receive on-site childcare and homework help for their school-aged children while they attend groups More information can be found online

Zimmerman and her family participated in an earlier test phase of the ADAPT program She said it was helpful and that support back home was necessary -- even though her family tried to remain connected during deployment through Skype, letters and care packages Existing reintegration services don't focus much on parenting issues, she said

"There always seemed to be lots of things for the soldier; there's lots of things for the couple, and it was that parenting piece that was (missing,)" Zimmerman said
Research out of the Minneapolis VA and the US Armed Forces has confirmed that reintegration is different for Guard members as compared to soldiers in active military components Adding to the challenge: symptoms of depression and PTSD continue to be more prevalent among Guard and Reserve members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the latest deployment health assessment data
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New Research at U of M Will Help Military Parents  





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Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."



Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



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