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ST CLOUD, Minn " Over 25 members of the faith-based community attended training in St Cloud focused on ministering to military families sponsored by the St Cloud based Warrior to Citizen group on May 3, 2012
The key-note speaker for the presentation and Chief of Chaplains for the Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Col) John Morris commented on the training "It is wonderful to see so many members of the clergy turn out for training on this topic Many churches are in conflict today about how to support Soldiers in their congregations without appearing like they support war"
Morris added, "Ministers of faith play a vital role in the healing of a warrior's soul when he or she returns from combat Doctors can offer medication, but a pastor can offer absolution"
Morris went on to say that today's combat environment is very different from the combat environment of previous generations In today's warfare there are no distinction between forward and rear echelon units Thus, Soldiers who were once in combat service support roles can often find themselves engaged in combat military operations
Morris who has deployed twice to Iraq, once in 2004 and again with the 34th Infantry Division Headquarters in 2009-2010, has been on the cutting edge of providing services to Soldiers returning from combat It was his work with the Minnesota National Guard that helped implement the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program which has become a national model for reintegrating Soldiers back into society after they have been to war
"The faith community can play an essential role in helping a military family prepare for deployment and it can play an essential role in helping the family to reconnect with each other post-deployment," said Morris
Following Morris' presentation clergy and community members engaged in round-table discussions Ideas were generated and discussed on how to reach-out and minister to military families Some of the ideas presented were: offering military couples a spiritual retreat, a religious service devoted to welcoming home veterans, or clergy and lay ministers providing career counseling to returning veterans
Anita Harris who facilitates meetings for the St Cloud Warrior to Citizen group was instrumental in organizing the training "It was wonderful to have Chaplain Morris conduct this training for us today It was also very gratifying to see so many community members give of their time to learn how we as a faith community can serve those who have so faithfully served our nation," said Harris
May 3, 2012
Story and photos by Maj John Donovan
Public Affairs Office,
Camp Ripley, Minn
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.