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CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - The great state of Minnesota is at it again with another triumphant victory of supporting the troops overseas Minnesota National Guard supporters have broke yet another record of astonishing Soldiers, families, and citizens alike by leaving their footprint in the now ‘muddy’ desert sands of Kuwait
The organization Serving our Troops was originally developed over some beer and steaks at a dinner table with the guys in 2004 Local businesses thought it would be so great to show their support if only they could get the Minnesota grown steaks to the Minnesota troops overseas Indeed they were able to do that and it has since evolved into one of the biggest military support events in overseas history
To date, 75,000 steaks have been served to troops in Kosovo, Iraq, Fort McCoy, Wis and their families back in Minn On Saturday 13,000 steaks were served in Kuwait and St Paul, Minn
You can count on one hand how many times it has rained here in the desert since arriving in Kuwait eight months ago; one of those days was yesterday when the gracious business owners, representatives from Minnesota sports teams and even a musician from Minnesota flew the 6,000 odd miles to grill the steaks themselves for the Soldiers Still, there was nothing but smiling faces and determination from the volunteers during the chilly grill out in the muddy sands of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
Pete Bercich, KFAN Vikings Broadcaster and former Minnesota Vikings linebacker and coach said “I guess we brought the Minnesota weather with us!” as he and drenched John Mancini, owner of Mancini’s Char House, St Paul, Minn, Dan O’Gara, owner of O’Gara’s Bar and Grill, St Paul, Minn joked after the many ‘thank you’s they received from troops, senators and commanders of four Kuwait bases, not to mention, Minnesota Adjutant General, Maj Gen Richard Nash
The event was held simultaneously in St Paul, Minn where families and friends gathered at the RiverCentre and enjoyed the donated slab of top quality beef from Mancini’s Char House, some Shell’s brew, Coca Cola, Sweet Martha’s Cookies There were also at least 50 more sponsors and 600 volunteers from Delta Airlines who made this incredible occasion happen Soldiers here in Kuwait were able to Skype with families or listen to the performance given by legendary Minnesota-native musician, GB (Brian) Leighton
“It’s nice to give back to our troops; musicians and actors are not heroes To me, Soldiers, firefighters, policeman, those who sacrifice so much are the true heroes,” Leighton said humbly This is also not the first time he has jumped the sands and oceans to perform for the troops; he has made several trips to Iraq, and stateside bases and sincerely enjoys every moment of it
On behalf of all the Soldiers, a warm, heartfelt ‘thank you’ goes out to all of those who made this special day happen and the families for their continued love and support “Ante Up, All In!”
Feb 26th, 2012
By Sgt 1st Class Brittany L Thingvold
1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division
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.