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Minnesota National Guard
Miracles Happen Festival Honors Military Members (video)

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Within the last few weeks we have seen one of the largest deployments of the Minnesota National Guard

With that fresh in families and veterans' minds, hundreds gathered at the 3rd Annual Miracles Happen Festival to spread support for those that serve

Saturday's military salute was meaningful for many, but even more so for Dave Swenson whose son died while serving in Afghanistan

"Just hundreds of guys have shown support for us, and we never knew them 16 months ago," said Swenson

The support of others and events like this, help Swenson cope

"You've got to talk about this stuff and these are great events for it, to meet up with guys who have been there," he said

John Morris the state Chaplain of the Minnesota National Guard believes this type of support helps heal

"It brings the community, its veterans and current members of the military together, which is so important for healthy return of combat veterans," said Morris

Bob Bardwell, the Executive Director of Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch, believes the salute is an important part of the Miracles Happen Festival

"From time to time, we all just need to come together and pay tribute to them  They are not looking for handouts and gratitude but just to have them here and give them a meal and some thanksgiving," said Bardwell

The event featured speeches from veterans, and music from the 34th Red Bulls National Guard Band

Many families are feeling the recent effects of deployment

"Those families are going to need a lot of support, so an event like today really heightens the importance of watching out for your neighbors," said Morris

Even with all of the support, these events can still pull at the heart strings

"They can be real tough, Taps is probably the hardest thing to sit through," said Swenson

Today's military salute was just one of the events of the Miracles Happen Festival

The festivities wrap up tomorrow

Posted at: 07/30/2011 10:52 PM
By: Katie Eldred

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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.

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.

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