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Minnesota National Guard
Aviation Soldiers break from training to support disabled children

BRAINERD, Minn - A community outreach event, initially a wood splitting fund-raiser, turned out to be personally fulfilling for Soldiers of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade's 834th Aviation Support Battalion  They took a break from their annual training at Camp Ripley to support the developmentally disabled children at Brainerd's Confidence Learning Center (CLC) June 14-15

"You feel like you actually did something that was worth contributing to," said Pfc Jay Hanley

The Soldiers helped the CLC by splitting, hauling and stacking 10 cords of firewood that will be sold to raise funds

"I'd absolutely like to do this again It's nice to get off post and work around the community Something real positive," said Sgt Megan McGarvey, A Company "It was a workout! My good deed for the day," added Pvt Shannon Richardson, A Co

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A full, hard day's work of splitting firewood was put into perspective by the second day's volunteers, who had the opportunity to play games and attended classes with the campers It will be great to "show everybody that chopped wood how we're actually helping children with disabilities and seeing where the money went and what it got the kids," said Pfc Trina Thoreson, A Co

The children, like much of the general public, do not often interact with the military "It was great to see the kids reactions, interacting with the kids," said Spc Justin Adelmann, A Co "And it is something they're going to remember," added Hanley

"I'd do it again next year There are a lot of people out there that want to do the right thing; to feel part of something bigger is, I think, the overall reason people join the National Guard in the first place, and this was just a part of it," said Hanley

"To give back to their community," added Adelmann

CLC is a registered non-profit which relies heavily on volunteers and financial donations For more information visit http://wwwcampconfidencecom

15 June, 2011
By Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ewer
34th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs


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