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Minnesota National Guard
U of M coach Robinson tours Kuwait thanking Red Bulls

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Developing his answers to the tests of life, Coach J Robinson wanted to share them with Soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division as a way to say thank you to Red Bull Soldiers who are currently deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation New Dawn

Robinson arrived in Kuwait Sept 27 for an eight-day tour While in Kuwait, he visited all the major bases and spoke with over 800 troops

In the last ten years, his wife divorced him, he lost a job, along with a very large sum of money in the stock market and to top it all off, this man had 57 surgeries conducted on his body just so he can function like you and I

With all the difficulties he has faced you would never think that he would have accomplished the things he has in life to include: 1972 Olympian, national Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, captain in the US Army, Vietnam veteran, honor graduate in Army Ranger School, an Instructor at the West Point, four time National Freestyle and Greco Wrestling Champion, two time National Collegiate Athletic Association National Coach of the Year, four time Assistant Olympic Wrestling Team Coach, three time NCAA Division I Champion, six time Big Ten Champion, six time Big Ten Coach of the Year and he is currently in his 25th season of coaching wrestling at the University of Minnesota



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"Coming here, I just wanted to say thank you to the troops and let them know that people do care about them and the job they're doing here," said Robinson "It's little to ask for what they do for us"

During his tour he visited Minnesota National Guard troops stationed in bases and camps all over the country of Kuwait, to include Minnesota Air Guardsmen He provided motivational speeches and combatives clinics for any of the troops who could attend

"It's really great to know that we have support back in Minnesota and anybody willing to come here is absolutely amazing," said Spc Tracy L White, an Emergency Operation Center assistant for the 134th Brigade Support Battalion currently sustaining the Life Support Area

White added, "To see Robinson, a Minnesotan, coming here to speak and motivate us as we continue in our endeavors that do get long, speaks miles to his character"

Though life was still a far cry from being easy for him, he stayed focused on his goals and the missions the Army presented him with as a commissioned officer

"There are a lot of things I learned as a young man dealing in the Army that was transferred over into other areas of my life," commented Robinson

Robinson's time in the US Army helped him clearly define the difference between a goal and a mission Knowing this, Robinson was more than prepared to share his first hand knowledge with Minnesota troops

"The difference between a goal and a mission is you have goals and a lot of people don't reach their goals, but as a Soldier you're given a mission and you have no choice but to get it done," said Robinson

All Soldiers have missions during the deployment and many will set personal goals Coach helped some by giving them the skills to reach their goals during the deployment

"I've learned from Coach Robinson that it's not always knowledge that will get you far in life - it's following through and doing the hard work that needs to be done," said White

"You've been given this day to use, as you will; it's important what you do with it because you're exchanging one day of your life for it," said Robinson "Wherever you are, be there"

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







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Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
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