* 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
CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait - It has been a long 8 ½ years for American forces, the United States and the country of Iraq with all sides seeing bloodshed Nearly 4,500 troops lost their lives fighting and more than 100,000 Iraqis have died during the war.
While historians and politicians may argue down the line whether or not the US should have invaded, one thing will remain certain " a dictator of tyranny has been removed, the chance for a democratic society has been placed in the hands of the people of Iraq and the war on terror has been battled out mainly abroad and off American soil.
These accomplishments did not come without sacrifice.
Over one million Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors helped make a new Iraq possible Without the sacrifices made by these heroic individuals, their families and the proud communities they belong to, none of this forward progress could have been accomplished This accomplishment was observed on the faces of each soldier at Camp Virginia, Kuwait, during the month of December.
With President Obama's announcement - the arrival of the last departure of convoys from Iraq echoed the war was finally over.
It was a historical moment for the Minnesota soldiers; they were some of the last to enter Iraq and some of the last to leave.
"It was a good trip, a little foggy on our way back, but we pushed on through regardless of weather conditions and made it back safe and sound," said Sgt Jeffery J McArthur, vehicle commander from Baxter, Minn "Camp Adder was like a ghost town being the last base to close so it was a little interesting at times, but we're back and it feels good to have accomplished our mission."
The convoy escort team mission was the same as it has been before - to safely escort a herd of semi-trucks in and out of Iraq However, this time their mission was providing security on some of the last cargo loads of equipment and supplies during Operation New Dawn Since a finalized decision was made to complete the withdrawal of US forces, Crazyhorse has been busy " completing 207 missions since their arrival in theater The mission up to Camp Adder was the very last mission in Iraq for the Company.
"It was pretty barren up there," said 1st Lt Mitchell A Goenner, 2nd Platoon Leader and Convoy Commander from Vadnais Heights, Minn "It feels pretty good to be part of history It was a mission, not filled with all the guns and glory, but something I can tell my grandkids down the line My team all did a great job and I'm proud of them."
The following day on December 18, the final convoys made their way over the Kuwait border arriving at Camp Virginia Media from around the world gathered to report on the historical day, a day that signified the end to the Iraq war and a successful end of mission for Crazyhorse during Operation New Dawn The Company traveled a combined total of 283,982 miles while escorting more than 9,000 semi-trucks and 21-million gallons of fuel.
The Company made up of 136 soldiers will now remain at Camp Virginia for the remainder of their year-long deployment, honing in on their military occupational specialties.
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.