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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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Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



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