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Jennifer McCann, a former recruiter of eight years and Melrose, Minn, native has enlisted hundreds of service members, except her own daughter.
“I’ve seen a lot of young men and women that felt like my daughters and sons join the military, but when you actually send your own child off to training it’s a whole new set of feelings,” said McCann.
The events on 9/11 had an impact on America that will never be forgotten That day called upon thousands of Americans to step up and serve their country, but never would a mother think to hear her eight-year-old express concern for Americans fighting the war on terror "¨
“Mom, if you have to go to war what are you going to do with the baby,” said Maria McCann, on 9/11 after watching the World Trade Center go down “When I get bigger, I’m going to help”.
As soon as Maria turned 18-years-old, she enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard as a services apprentice She plans on becoming an intelligence officer through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at North Dakota State University.
Although Maria enlisted last winter, she was put on a waiting list to go to Air Force Basic at Fort Lee, Va, and did not leave for basic training until August 2011 She is scheduled to graduate Oct 14.
Jennifer is currently deployed to Kuwait with the 134th BSB in support of Operation New Dawn and was not there it to send off her daughter to basic training
“I’ve taken hundreds of privates to MEPS and dropped them off for that final shipping and to not be there to see my own daughter off and get that phone call that she has arrived is just excruciating - a better word would be devastating,” said Jennifer
Even though Jennifer can’t be at home for every Sunday to receive a phone call from her daughter she tries to stay connected with her daughter through other means.
“The only communication we’ve had is through letters, which have taken three weeks to get a letter from her at basic training,” said Jennifer “So as she is just in week seven, I’ve got a letter from week three That’s been a challenge”.
Although Maria does not have Internet access while in basic training, Jennifer has found comfort in the Air Force Wing Moms and Air Force basic training Facebook pages.
"All the moms from my daughters flight are on Facebook and when they get their phone calls from their daughters on Sunday they all post what’s going on, who their wings are and what they talk about,” Jennifer said "They’re taking me in and sharing all the information the girls are saying, so God bless Facebook".
Although it has been hard on Jennifer to be deployed while her daughter is at airman basic training, she still supports her daughter wholeheartedly half a world away in Kuwait
“You should always stand behind your loved ones no matter what your personal opinion is of the military,” Jennifer added “Because we are all volunteers giving of ourselves and we should be very thankful for our sons and daughters that are willing to sacrifice so much to include there own life”
Posted: 2017-04-28 12:38 PM MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.
The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.
The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."