| Pentagon priest celebrates Mass at Fort McCoy with 1st Brigade Combat Team
June 23, 2011
By Tom Michele, Fort McCoy
Chaplain (Brig Gen) Patrick Dolan emphasizes the evangelical work of the Apostle Barnabus that Dolan said also applies to each of the Soldiers seated in front of him Barnabus’ teaching of the story of Jesus was Dolan’s homily subject as he celebrated Mass at the Fort McCoy Catholic Chapel for Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team
FORT McCOY, Wis -- Chaplain (Brig Gen) Patrick Dolan’s message to 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) Soldiers was that the unit’s senior leadership personally cares about their Soldiers
Dolan, a Roman Catholic priest, and the Assistant to the Chief of Chaplains, US Army, Pentagon, celebrated Catholic Mass at Fort McCoy’s Catholic Chapel June 10
The 1st BCT, with 3,200 members of the Minnesota Army National Guard, is undergoing mobilization training at Fort McCoy prior to deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom
“My visit to the 34th’s Soldiers is a chance to say ‘good luck’ to a deploying unit and help them, particularly as a chaplain, to do a better job,” Dolan said
“Another reason for my visit was for me to add insight for the 34th’s senior leadership that was useful to them and to me,” Dolan said Dolan is the pastor of two parishes in the Louisville, Ky, area “My Army platoon is the entire US Army National Guard chaplaincy” He is the highest-ranking chaplain in the Army National Guard
“I said Mass on a cot in a tent in the mud in a field in Korea when I was on active duty in 1990,” Dolan said This time he had the comforts of Fort McCoy and the installation’s Catholic Chapel “The Minnesota state chaplain, a friend of mine, asked me to come for the 34th, and represent the Chief of Chaplains office We had a very nice prayer breakfast earlier in the day with more than 100 Soldiers attending”
“This visit is a good way for senior Army leadership to connect with the Soldiers who will be deploying to a theater of conflict,” Dolan said Dolan also heard individual confessions, the Catholic sacrament of reconciliation, before and after the evening Mass
For Mass, Dolan had Chaplain (Maj) Brian Kane concelebrate the service Kane is with the 67th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, Nebraska Army National Guard, going through demobilization processing at Fort McCoy Kane is the pastor of St James Parish, Mead, Neb, and superintendent of Neumann High School in Wahoo, Neb
A 1st BCT Soldier said he was appreciative of Chaplain Dolan’s visit and celebrating Mass Maj Matt Heffron, from St Paul, Minn, and the BCT’s intelligence officer, said he came for the Mass, “to, first and foremost, meet Christ, and in a physical way to receive His Body and Blood and a chance to do it with others who believe in the same way”
“That’s immeasurably important to me,” Heffron said “I converted to Catholicism during my last deployment I knew a priest chaplain as a point of contact for faith and sanity in the middle of difficult circumstances”
Heffron said, “Confession is another way to meet Christ and experience His power, especially while at war Confession is the ideal way to change and grow into the person God wants me to be My faith informs my decision-making as an officer in a combat brigade where complicated decisions may be made, and well-worked-out ethical decisions will be made My faith helps that It helps me take God’s message of love and mercy into a simple yet difficult world and connect faith to being a Soldier”
Following Mass, Dolan presented the 1BCT Soldiers with medallions and prayer cards, items that had been blessed by a Catholic bishop in St Cloud, Minn, and sent to Fort McCoy One medallion was of St Joan of Arc, patron saint of Soldiers The other had a Bible inscription from Joshua, 1:9, “I will be strong and courageous I will not be terrified or discouraged For the Lord my God is with me wherever I go”
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.
Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident
Posted: 2017-02-22 09:59 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.
As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.
"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."
To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter
Posted: 2017-02-21 01:25 PM
HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.
It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.
"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."