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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 Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.



Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



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