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Minnesota National Guard
More Minn. Red Bulls heading to Kuwait

by Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
August 18, 2011

Austin, Minn - Some 159 National Guard soldiers from Minnesota's 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment attended a departure ceremony on Thursday in Austin

arger view
Roger Reller, of the American Legion in Austin, stands as part of the color guard during a deployment ceremony for 159 troops with the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment who depart for a one-year deployment to Kuwait later this year Once there, they'll provide base management and convoy security for troops leaving Iraq (MPR Photo/Elizabeth Baier)

They're embarking for three months of training at Camp Shelby, Miss, before joining other Minnesota National Guard "Red Bulls" of the 34th Infantry Division currently deployed in Kuwait

"I feel super excited, very excited I feel very proud I look at it as an opportunity to serve and stand up for something," said Sgt Beth Hendrycks, 26, of Mankato She will deploy for the first time, and says that after serving in the reserves for six years, she's ready for an overseas assignment

"I mean, you can't beat this It's an awesome feeling to wear this uniform," she said

This will be the second deployment for Sgt Ryan Thon, 34, of Spring Valley His wife, Wendy, says it's tough to say good bye to her husband of two years

"We've spent the last week together, just him and I, just doing odds and ends And it was really special," Wendy Thon said "I'll just miss him and spending time with him"

The troops hold positions as mechanics, cooks, truck drivers and infantry soldiers In Kuwait, they'll provide base management and convoy security for troops leaving Iraq

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