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Minnesota National Guard
Our first trip to Kuwait City

CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait " Our first trip to Kuwait City began on a chilly morning on the Jan 15, 2012 The wind was still, which actually was a blessing The temperature was cold enough that our breath could be seen rising into the air, and wouldn't you know it, my only civilian sweater needed to be washed My mood had already been somewhat soured before the trip had even begun because of this fact However, I still looked forward with anticipation to the trip ahead; as it was a good reprieve from the daily rigor I had become quite accustomed to at Camp Virginia

There were eight of us going on this trip and our moods all seemed to reflect the same excitement None of us had ever been into the city before and we had high hopes that our experience would be worth the troubles the morning had already brought



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The ride into the city started off slowly The scenery was the same for awhile, endless desert with very few signs of life It changed rather quickly once we drove for about twenty minutes Homes and buildings began to spring up out of the dust from nowhere I was taken aback by just how absolutely beautiful the buildings were Some of them were actually made of marble The mosques had towers that would reflect the sunlight, and they were everywhere It seemed the farther we drove into the city the more extravagant they became

Once we reached Kuwait City, any memories of our base had all but disappeared We were in a thriving, gorgeous, and wealthy city There was no dust to be found here, only green palm trees and floral arrangements along the busy highways The architecture of the city was enough in itself to allow for a sightseeing tour, but our first of three destinations was the Kuwaiti Towers The Kuwaiti Towers were located along the Persian Gulf and they consisted of three separate towers One was a monument, one a restaurant, and the last was a water tower The restaurant also held a lookout platform, which was continually traversed, completing its' cycles in about 30 minutes From this area, we could see the gulf and the city as it sprawled out along the coastline

The second destination of our tour was the Kuwaiti Aquarium This was in itself a pleasant visit, but seeing the elementary children that were on a field trip reminded me of home I was somewhat of a hit with these children, as they all wanted to wave to me and smile as they walked by It really didn't seem foreign at all It was as if I was in a building back home in Saint Paul Our final destination provided the best meal I have had in almost a year We went to a buffet-style restaurant, and the food was marvelous We all sat at a round table freely talking and eating, and it almost seemed as though we could just get into our car and drive home

We felt so completely refreshed when the trip was over The displeasure of the morning and the home sickness that I had been feeling since we left Minnesota was gone As we walked back into our company's area, I was greeted with questions about the trip I think my response was surprising to everyone that heard it "If there is another trip, I am going" This trip turned out to be an incredibly enjoyable moment for us, and it almost felt like we were right back home, if only for the moment

Story by 2nd Lt Addison Pennington
1st Platoon Leader, Delta Company, 1-194 AR (CAB)
Jan 15, 2012




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Officers convene for 112th Meeting of the National Guard Association of Minnesota

Posted: 2017-04-28  12:38 PM
NGAMN conference 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.



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Posted: 2017-04-26  02:09 PM
Mississippi River 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.



Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding

Posted: 2017-04-26  10:57 AM
Neely 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.



Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum 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."



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