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Minnesota National Guard
Generations in uniform in 'Memorial Day'

  • Article by: COLIN COVERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 24, 2012 - 2:41 PM

Multiple members of one family are changed by war in a drama shot in Minnesota

"Memorial Day," the Minnesota-shot independent film, has picked up a number of festival awards, including the audience award for best narrative feature at the Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival and best narrative feature at the GI Film Festival in Washington, DC

A family saga as much as a war story, it chronicles a generations-spanning Minnesota military family whose servicemen harbor life-changing combat experiences they can't easily talk about

The story unwinds from the recent past in Iraq, to an idyllic heartland farm in the 1990s, to the bloody Battle of the Bulge The film offers James Cromwell, the veteran character actor who played kindly farmer Hoggett in "Babe" and the silent star's loyal chauffeur in "The Artist," the biggest role of his long career He plays Richard Vogel, a taciturn farmer who has a troubled inner life that belies his Norman Rockwell appearance

For decades he has packed away his painful World War II memories in a dusty footlocker Only when his coaxing grandson Kyle insists does the old veteran share his long-repressed memories Cromwell's lookalike son, John, plays Vogel as a worried young lieutenant on the front lines

A parallel story follows the now-grown Kyle (Jonathan Bennett, who played Lindsay Lohan's boyfriend in "Mean Girls") Staff Sgt Vogel applies his grandfather's lessons as he faces similar challenges in Iraq as a member of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Infantry Division, the Red Bulls

The $12 million production is historically accurate and impressive The state National Guard provided modern helicopters, Humvees and extras, and collectors of vintage combat vehicles contributed German army halftracks, vintage jeeps and P-38 fighter aircraft

The film is as plain-spoken and sincere as a recruiting poster, with similar dramatic depth Director Sam Fischer handles the film's action demands capably and guided the mostly nonprofessional cast to solid performances The strongest contribution comes from Cromwell, who nails a demanding part, finding a core of realism and truth in a role that could have been maudlin
Article source
http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/153658975.html



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Minnesota aviators participate in Talisman Saber 17, lay foundation for Warfighter Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-07-25  12:55 PM
Talisman Saber CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 140 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade recently wrapped up participation here in the seventh iteration of the biennial training exercise Talisman Saber.

The St. Paul, Minnesota-based Soldiers were among 33,000 U.S. and Australian military personnel who convened in multiple locations around the world to support and engage in the event made up of field training and command post exercise components.

Unit members of the 34th CAB, which is adept at providing a wide spectrum of aviation support, took part in the command post exercise and used the training as an opportunity to focus on air-ground integration -- or synchronizing aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.



National Guard Soldiers advance to all-Army Best Warrior Competition

Posted: 2017-07-22  11:02 AM
ARNG BWC CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Fourteen of the Army National Guard's most elite Soldiers gathered on Camp Ripley Training Center in central Minnesota July 17-20 to determine who would compete in the all-Army Best Warrior Competition later this year.

Although every Soldier gave it their all, only one noncommissioned officer and one enlisted Soldier would claim the title of Army National Guard Best Warrior. The room was tense as everyone awaited the results during the final awards ceremony.

"We told you we were going to do everything but break you," said Command Sgt. Maj. Doug Wortham, the Minnesota National Guard Senior Enlisted Advisor. He summarized the four days explaining how the competitors all came from their respective states as individual competitors and through the competition ended up as comrades. "You were stressed, you were challenged. You guys did a fantastic job... But, the devil's in the details."



Fourteen Soldiers. Twelve States. One Competition.

Posted: 2017-07-16  09:45 PM
ARNG BWC One Soldier (junior enlisted) and one NCO (non-commissioned officer) will emerge at the top at the Army National Guard's Best Warrior Competition held at Camp Ripley, Minn., July 17-20, 2017, and move on to represent the Guard in the All-Army Best Warrior Competition in October.

The competitors have been conducting last-minute training since July 12 at Camp Ripley by honing their skills on various weapons, maintaining their physical strength and endurance, and reviewing military tasks.

"I'm feeling very confident," said Cpl. Joseph Garback, a cannon crewmember with B Co., 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry, 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, New Jersey National Guard. He's been preparing with the other Region 1 competition winner, Sgt. Zachary Scuncio. Garback says he has really liked the hands-on preparation at Camp Ripley and believes he's had an ample amount of time to prepare.



Minnesota-based Combat Aviation Unit Soars into Battle Phase of Bilateral Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-07-16  09:52 AM
34th CAB CAMP ATTERBURY, Indiana - More than 140 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade have established a presence at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, where they are supporting and engaging in high-level military operations and synchronization training.

Members of the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit, which is adept at providing a wide spectrum of aviation support, recently dove into the battle phase of the bilateral training exercise Talisman Saber 17. Throughout the exercise, much of their training will focus on air-ground integration -- or synchronizing aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.



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