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Minnesota National Guard
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon shows deployed Soldiers how to come all the way home

In "Twilight of the Idols" Friedrich Nietzsche said "If we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how"

Deployment Cycle Support (DCS), a component of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, helps provide the "how" for Soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division

DCS held a one-year reintegration event for the Soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division that were mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Feb 2009 to Feb 2010 at the Inver Hills Community College July 22

"Everybody's life changes a little bit after they complete a deployment," said Lt Col Matt Vatter, 34th Infantry Division Headquarters Battalion commander, "and what we're trying to do today is address some of the issues and some of the challenges that the Soldiers and their families might be facing at this stage in returning from war"



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Before arriving at the event, all Service members were surveyed by DCS to determine the issues still facing the Soldiers as they continue to reintegrate into society a year later The survey, done months before the reintegration event, helped DCS reach out to working professionals to provide an expert in the areas of concern at the event

Over 15 service providers were at the 34th Infantry Division's one-year reintegration event Classes offered ranged from a couples check-up to initial resume writing

"A high area of concern the Soldiers are facing is unemployment; we hope this event refreshes their tool kit of resources and helps them in the job market where they are going up against individuals that have been preparing a whole year while they were overseas," commented Maj Aaron Krenz, DCS chief

"In essence, what I would like, is to have all of our Soldiers walk away this weekend with an action plan that works for them," said Vatter "Something that helps them to take that next step forward in their lives "¦ that they can be more successful in the job market if employment is an issue for them"

If Nietzsche were alive perhaps he would have approved of the dedication and insight taken reintegrating our modern Service members and helping them find the "how"

Story and photos by Spc Trisha Betz
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
22 July, 2011





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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust 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
CSM Erickson 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.



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