/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Aviation Brigade, Habitat for Humanity support community

BRAINERD, Minn " Soldiers of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) participated in a re-shingling project for the Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity on a small street in Brainerd, Minn, June 6-8 They helped a local family keep a roof over their head, literally

"Projects like this make me realize how lucky I am," said Command Sgt Maj James Kampsen, the 34th CAB command sergeant major from Sauk Rapids, Minn "It feels great that we are able to help somebody out when they need it I like being able to help community members, especially in a community that has given so much support to us"

Download photos

The 34th CAB contacted Habitat for Humanity earlier this year in search of volunteer opportunities to give back to the community while they were at the Camp Ripley Training Center conducting their two-week annual training Working with Kevin Pelkey, the executive director of Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity, they were able to coordinate a re-shingling project in the Brainerd area

The 34th CAB Soldiers went right to work, removing the shingles the first day and completed the removal task nearly six hours ahead of schedule The Soldiers returned the following two days to finish re-shingling the roof for home-owner, Kalaya Roberts

Last summer, Roberts, a recently laid-off, single mother-of-three, discovered the shingles on her home installed in 2004 were faulty and spent a lengthy amount of time on the phone with both her insurance company and the shingles manufacturer to have them replaced After much back-and-forth communication between both agencies, Roberts ended with the burden of paying for half of the cost of the singles and all of the labor Because her home was built by Habitat for Humanity, she contacted Pelkey to see if he could help Pelkey found a perfect opportunity for the 34th CAB

"[These Soldiers] are giving so much already in service to our country and community," Pelkey said "It's really cool that [they] are doing more Above and beyond"

Three years ago, Pelkey worked with the 34th CAB on a separate project putting up trusses on a new building, he said It went so well, it surprised him on the short amount of time it took the Soldiers to complete the project Normally, the volunteers for building projects are retirees, he said, so projects don't usually move along this fast

Thanks to the 34th CAB's volunteer work, Roberts was able to get all of the labor required to install the shingles Pelkey, who's worked for Habitat for Humanity for more than 14 years, said her church was working to raise money to pay for the other half of the bill for the shingles themselves, but Habitat for Humanity would assist in covering the remaining costs

In the last 22 years, Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity built over 75 homes in the local community and supports funding toward the building of 78 homes in Guatemala, a program they have participated in since 1976 Up to 10% of the area's Habitat for Humanity funding goes to support the international community

Soldiers participating in the re-shingling felt a great sense of pride in their work

"Habitat for Humanity is a great organization to support," said Spc Terril Parkinson, a cook with the 34th CAB headquarters, and a Blaine, Minn, resident "They provided all the tools we needed to do a quality job and anything they didn't have readily available, they picked up for us"

"The family was very supportive," he continued "It was great to see the kids help out You can tell they genuinely appreciated our presence I was glad to help out"

Pfc Mary Hickey said that she would be looking for additional opportunities to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in the future
"It was really fun and was cool to learn new skills," she said "I would love to do it again "¦ I plan on getting myself and my fiancé involved with Habitat for Humanity on the civilian side"

At the end of a hard day's work, 34th CAB Soldiers put their hearts into the project and received a greater sense of what it takes to serve in the Minnesota National Guard as a Citizen-Soldier, helping their local communities

June 8, 2012
Story and photos by Staff Sgt Ashlee Lolkus
34th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.

Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.

Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.

Article archive