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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
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
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.