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Minnesota National Guard
Under overcast skies, a bright day for returning Minnesota Soldiers and families

BLOOMINGTON, Minn – More than 200 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers from the Bloomington-based 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division returned home throughout the state Sunday, Apr 15, after a year-long deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation New Dawn The Soldiers were from Bravo and Charlie Companies of the 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry


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Even the dismal weather couldn’t dampen the bright day for Minnesota Soldiers and their families  Despite their Soldiers arriving nearly an hour earlier than expected, families—holding signs and cheering enthusiastically—lined the sidewalk in front of the Bloomington Armory and welcomed Soldiers as they exited buses 

1st Lt Patrick Lo, platoon leader for the 1-94 CAV from Edina, Minn, said the welcome from family members was remarkable

“From the airport, we were escorted by the Patriot Guard who led us all the way to the Armory,” said Lo  “And to have the families waiting for us here was awesome”

This deployment marks that largest for the “Red Bulls” since World War II The mission accomplished by 1-94 CAV during their deployment was a historic feat, which was vital to the withdrawal of US Soldiers and equipment from Iraq, the largest logistical drawdown in history

During their deployment, the 1-94 CAV performed convoy escort missions and traveled more than one million miles

“We are very proud of the brigade’s accomplishments in supporting the final phase of the Iraq War during Operation New Dawn,” said Army Lt. Col. Rick T Schute, officer in charge for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division

“To see that the war is over is an amazing thing to be a part of,” said Maj Mark Lappegaard, 1-94 CAV executive officer “Having everybody come back safe and seeing that all these Soldiers get to go back home is a great thing”

April 15, 2012
Photos and story by
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs




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