/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Chilly weather doesn't hamper warm welcome for returning soldiers

By Dan Nienaber Free Press Staff Writer

April 29, 2012 ST PETER -
A snappy breeze and frosty drops of rain didn't keep dozens of proud parents, siblings and friends from waiting along the streets of St Peter Sunday to welcome their soldiers home

Grant Wiest's father, stepmother, twin brother and five other siblings didn't think twice about heading for cover during the drizzle They just looked down Minnesota Avenue, also Highway 169, and waited They knew there were four buses coming and Grant, of Le Sueur, would be waiving from the passenger seat of number two

"We miss him and he's been gone long enough," his father, Lyle Wiest said "We're ready for him to be home"

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion 125th Field Artillery had been in Kuwait for about nine months Add in several weeks of training before they left and debriefing once they were back in the United States, and they were away from home for two weeks short of a year

The 70 or so soldiers returning to St Peter were among about 2,500 Minnesota soldiers who have been returning from deployments in Kuwait The St Peter soldiers and another group of area soldiers, which returned to New Ulm Sunday, are members of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team That group has the distinction of being the largest deployment of Minnesota National Guard soldiers since World War II

During their Kuwait deployment, the brigade was participating in Operation New Dawn, which, as the final phase of the Iraq War, involved moving US forces out of Iraq

Led by police squad cars, fire trucks and motorcycles, the buses made a quick trip around St Peter before pulling into the city's National Guard Armory Once the soldiers were off their buses, lined up and standing at a attention, it didn't take long to zip through the formalities and move on to the important business

The man who had called them to attention just seconds earlier didn't say much before he set the anxious men and women free

"Thanks for your service and good job," he said "Company dismissed"

Both the soldiers and the crowd around them responded with a cacophony of yeas and woo-hoos

One of the woo-hoos in the crowd came from Krystal Sprint of Mankato She was holding a bright green sign that said, "Felicia My hero My sister"

"She's my best friend and it was a long deployment," Sprint said after welcoming her sister, Felicia Vandenest, home

Vandenest was able to come home for a two-week leave during December, but she had to be back on duty just days before Christmas

"It was kind of like a teaser to come home and see all the lights then, boom, I was back in Kuwait," she said "It seems like it was all just a dream now You look back on it and so much happened and the days were so long it just flew by"

Vandenest planned to go home and enjoy a quiet dinner with her dad, Brian Vandenest of La Salle, and her sisters Sunday night The Southwest Minnesota State University student had no solid plans for the rest of the summer, except that she knows it will include a lot of grilling, camping and kicking back

"I'm going to school," she said "I have all summer to relax"
Article source
http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x157475799/Chilly-weather-doesn-t-hamper-warm-welcome-for-returning-soldiers



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

347th RSG units test unique capabilities during Combined Support Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-08-16  03:35 PM
347 RSG FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin - The 347th Regional Support Group commander and command sergeant major traveled to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 15, 2017, to recognize several Soldiers training there.

The 204th Area Medical Support Company, 147th Financial Management Support Detachment and 247th FMSD are all conducting their annual training periods in neighboring Wisconsin, with their own mission-specific exercises that fall under the Combat Support Training Exercise taking place throughout the brigade.

The leadership duo of Col. Lowell Kruse and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Erickson began their day with a stop at the 147th FMSD's training area, where they watched Soldiers participate in the Diamond Saber exercise. Throughout the event, the 147th FMSD - a 25-Soldier operation preparing for deployment - is exercising its dispersing, military pay and contracting functions in an interactive environment with actual customers to serve and transactions to process.



500 Minnesota soldiers notified for 2018 deployment

Posted: 2017-08-14  03:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2017

ROSEMOUNT, Minn.- More than 500 Soldiers from the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division headquarters have been notified of a possible deployment to Southwest Asia beginning in the fall of 2018.

"The Red Bulls maintain a high level of readiness, and over the next 12 months, our soldiers will train for this mission while also preparing their families and civilian employers here at home," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, 34th Infantry Division commanding general. "The official notification is an important step in the process of building readiness for an overseas deployment."

The planned deployment is expected to last up to one year. The notified units are based in Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, and Faribault; however, the soldiers hail from 10 different states and the District of Columbia.



347th RSG trains to master tactical, uninterrupted sustainment support

Posted: 2017-08-10  08:14 AM
347 RSG CSTX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - After three busy days establishing a field command post and integrating units from across the country, the 347th Regional Support Group is underway with a three-week Combat Support Training Exercise during annual training at Camp Ripley.

It began with a Command Post Exercise on Aug. 8, 2017, but it couldn't begin until the tenants of "Tactical Assembly Area Victory" established meal service, sleeping arrangements, shower and laundry accommodations and, of course, the tactical command post.

"We do the exercise to make sure our equipment works, and once that is established we as a staff figure out how to sync together," said Sgt. Maj. Marc Dempsey, logistics operations sergeant major for the 347th RSG. "The exercise is for making sure we as a staff are working together as one team, with everyone knowing their role, for when we go into the main event."



Military kids participate in Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp

Posted: 2017-08-07  02:08 PM
Youth Camp CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Summer camp as a kid and young teen is usually filled with memories of campfires, swimming in the lake and BBQs. Camp Ripley Training Center hosted the Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp (MNGYC) for more than 200 military kids this year. The experience for the military kids who attend the camp relies heavily on donations and nearly 150 volunteers from around the state that come and spend the week with them.

Lindsay Koolmo is a volunteer and the executive director for the MNGYC. She is a military spouse, a volunteer firefighter and a mutations maintenance Tech Sergeant from the 148th Fighter Wing. She has taken upon herself for years to take time off her job and spend hundreds of hours throughout the year and more than two weeks at Camp Ripley to lead the camp.

Her affiliation with the MNGYC started early, in 1992 she was a camper, became a junior counselor, then was a junior counselor and then became an adult counselor.



Article archive
 
top