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Minnesota National Guard
Guard Aviators return to Children's Hospital

Spending an afternoon with sick children is certainly a change of pace from flying missions in a Black Hawk helicopter

Yet visiting children is what 1st Lt Jesse Pope, a pilot with the 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion (2-147 AHB), was doing Friday

"It provides a good perspective," said Pope, who, with Spc Matthew O'Brien, took a break from his annual training period to visit Children's Hospitals and Clinics, in St Paul Children's cares for tens of thousands of children every year "God forbid your kid is sick and this is your situation," he said


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Part of the National Guard's community involvement, says Pope, is demonstrating compassion in what can seem like a harsh occupation "I think that activities like this are important for our effect on the community," said Pope "To be seen and to provide a face to the uniform is important"

Fridays are Bingo days, so 1st Lt Pope called Bingo numbers via closed-circuit television while Spc O'Brien visited kids throughout the hospital and played a Bingo card himself Winners got their choice of gifts supplied by both the Guard and the hospital After lunch, Pope and O'Brien paid visits to children in their rooms, and stayed for short conversations where the kids were up to it

The kids don't see military members every day, so for many, the visits were a special treat "It's definitely received well," said Tom Marsolais, a child life activities associate whose job is to make sure kids have fun things to do during their stay

"A lot of people are really grateful when the military comes in," said Marsolais "Every day is different in the hospital"

The 34th Combat Aviation Brigade has been reaching out to conduct community outreach/volunteer activities for the past 4 years during our annual training to give back to the communities and organizations that support our Soldiers and families," said Capt Andrea Bond, community relations officer "We worked with the St Paul Children's Hospital last year too, and we are hoping to make this an annual event"

Serving as Minnesota's children's hospital since 1924, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health care organizations in the United States, with 347 staffed beds at its two hospitals in St Paul and Minneapolis An independent, not-for-profit health care system, Children's of Minnesota provides care through more than 12,000 inpatient visits and more than 200,000 emergency room and other outpatient clinic visits every year Children's is the only Minnesota hospital system to provide comprehensive care exclusively to children Please visit wwwchildrensmnorg

June 8, 2012
Photo and story by Spc Thomas Keeler
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs




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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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