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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: 2017-04-28 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."