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Minnesota National Guard
Welcome home plans forming

First up: Who can help organize celebration?

5:52 PM, Apr 24, 2012

Eleven months ago this week, Central Minnesota said a bittersweet "goodbye and good luck" to more than 200 fellow residents as they joined the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, 1st Brigade Combat Team in deploying for duty in Iraq and Kuwait

Now those 2,400 troops are returning home, which means it's time for this area to start planning a formal "welcome home" celebration

We write today for two reasons First, we want to hear from those people and organizations interested in helping make this celebration happen Second, consider this your notice to watch for specifics so you can help welcome home these troops and celebrate the service of all area veterans

At this point, an exact time and date has not been selected That will come once unit leaders have had a chance to unpack and look toward the summer However, St Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said Tuesday the city will provide the location - the new River's Edge Convention Center

With the venue identified, there still will be plenty to do So how can you and your group help?

Please share your name and how you want to help Also, provide a daytime phone number, e-mail address or quickest way to reach you We will compile that information and be in touch as plans come into focus

You can contact us by phone: 255-8762; e-mail: letters@stcloudtimescom; fax: 255-8775 (Label: "Attention: Welcome Home celebration") and mail: Welcome Home c/o Times Opinion Pages, PO Box 768, St Cloud MN 56301

This board has been a part of two similar celebrations in recent years Those have featured loads of information for veterans and families, light refreshments, handmade "welcome home" signs, patriotic music, slide shows, a color guard, kids events and activities, and a formal welcome-home program

Experience teaches us that broad community support is critical For example, key organizers have included the city of St Cloud, the VA Medical Center, 4-H Youth Development/Operation Military Kids, KNSI-AM, Warrior to Citizen and the Qwest Pioneers

Donations and volunteers also are essential East Side VFW Post 4847, Short Stop Custom Catering, Women in the Military and Sauk Rapids Women of Today have helped with those, as have Great River Rotary of Sauk Rapids, and Business Women of Central Minnesota

We welcome assistance from those and any other people and organizations who want to celebrate the return of not just these veterans, but all Central Minnesotans who have sacrificed so much
Article source
http://www.sctimes.com/article/20120425/OPINION/304250005/Our-View-Welcome-home-plans-forming?odyssey=nav|head&nclick_check=1



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Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



Minnesota Guardsmen participate in Aurora 17 exercise in Sweden

Posted: 2017-09-25  09:06 AM
Aurora 17 SKOVDE, Sweden - Minnesota National Guard Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor traveled overseas in mid-Sept. 2017 to take part in a cooperative, national defense training exercise with allied countries.

"The education and experience these Soldiers will receive is invaluable," said Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Hybben, 1-194th command sergeant major. "Our Soldiers will have operated in joint forces operations with fire and maneuver, which will allow for best practices to be shared and used in the future. They will have a better understanding of other military forces and how they operate not only strengthening our force but everyone involved."

The Brainerd-based battalion spearheaded the mission to Sweden as the most recent element of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division to have taken part in joint international training missions throughout Europe since early 2017.



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