/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Decades later, a welcome home for Vietnam veterans

LITTLE FALLS — With a steady drizzle falling on him, water began to pool around Bill Filet’s eyes after a ceremony Sunday to honor Vietnam veterans at Camp Ripley

But the moment Filet spoke, it became clear that the water, now streaming down his cheeks, had very little to do with the gray skies and much more to do with the ceremony he’d just been a part of

“It’s very moving, and it’s a long time coming,” Filet said “It’s an honor to be here”

Filet, along with 349 other Vietnam veterans, was honored Sunday as part of Camp Ripley’s annual open house The event was labeled as a welcome home for Vietnam vets, and while it had been decades since most of the veterans gathered Sunday had returned home, the crowd welcomed them as if they’d just stepped foot back on American soil

Download photos

“It’s nice, I don’t know how else to describe it but nice,” said Ken Roeber, a veteran hailing from Pillager
Roeber was moved at the thought of so many people coming out to support him and his Vietnam brethren He also was happy to be around so many veterans who had similar stories

“It’s just nice to be with another group of veterans,” Roeber said after the event

Those gathered at Sunday’s ceremony were there to show support and do a little something extra for those who had done so much for them The appreciation for the group was evident the second that the first vet stepped off one of the many buses, which arrived via police escort to the base

Servicemen and women from past and present lined up to greet the veterans, and many more spectators from the stands and around the outdoor meeting area cheered and whistled as the group took their seats

“You define us as soldiers,” Post Commander of Camp Ripley Col Scott St Sauver said in his address to the crowd “Your sacrifices make us who we are as soldiers today”

Sauver said that it was only fitting that Camp Ripley used its open house as a platform to welcome home the group of veterans He was adamant that without that group, things could be much different for those who serve today

“I’d like to thank you,” Sauver said

Sauver wasn’t the only one to offer thanks It was the common theme among each speaker who addressed the crowd Sunday But the thanks wasn’t just for the fact that the veterans served, it also was because Vietnam veterans have consistently showed support for the groups sent to battle after them There’s little bitterness for the treatment that many Vietnam vets received when they came home Instead, any frustration seems to have been turned into energy geared toward making sure future generations of soldiers get proper support

“You made a difference in the lives of people in Vietnam whether you know it or not,” Major Gen Rick Erlandson told the group “You’ve changed our nation and made it better You’ve stood up and answered the call with overwhelming support”

It’s important to show a unified front when it comes to supporting other veterans, Roeber said

“A lot of the guys are moving and leaving their families,” Roeber said “I think it’s important to support all veterans”

Seeing hundreds gathered Sunday with a flags in one hand and the other extending in greeting, it was clear that Roeber wasn’t the only one who felt that way

11:54 PM, Sep 18, 2011  

Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

148th Fighter Wing hosts STEM program for Duluth-area students

Posted: 2018-06-05  08:52 AM
Starbase Duluth DULUTH, Minn. - Dozens of community and industry leaders passionate about helping children become more engaged in science, technology, engineering and math gathered at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn., May 24, 2018, to see what STARBASE Minnesota Duluth is doing for young students in the area.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense youth program that engages students in STEM studies. The program began in 1991, and STARBASE Minnesota was founded in 1993 in St. Paul, which expanded to Duluth in July 2017.

Currently, the school program is open to fifth-grade students, said Charity S. Rupp, the director of STARBASE Minnesota Duluth. The summer camp will serve students in 4-6th grade. Eventually, she hopes the program will expand into STARBASE 2.0 to serve middle school students as an after school program during the academic school year.

Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

Article archive