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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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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

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"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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