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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: 2017-04-28 12:38 PM MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.
The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.
The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."