/*********************************************** * 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
West St. Paul Guardsman dies in Iraq

A National Guard member from West St Paul has died in Iraq, apparently of a heart attack First Sgt Michael Mettille, 44, had been deployed with 2,600 other Minnesota Guard members last March No details were available from the Minnesota National Guard on the circumstances of his death

The career Soldier's wife, Pam Mettille, was not available for comment Friday evening The mother of two of his four children, she has been active in helping families of Guard members deployed to Iraq

On Thursday, Guard officials also visited Ames, Iowa, where Mettille's two other children live, and delivered the grim news On Wednesday, Mettille failed to report for duty, and he was found in his room in his barracks, said daughter Elizabeth Mettille of Ames, Iowa

Mettille was an avid organizer for Operation Uplink, which worked with the Veterans of Foreign Wars to provide phone cards for Soldiers to call home

One of his latest messages came just before Christmas, in an Internet letter to families of Guard members he supervised in Alpha Company, 134th Brigade Support Battalion of the US Army's 34th Infantry The unit is based in Brooklyn Park

No matter what duty the day held for each Guard member, he wrote, "know that our thoughts are on you at home We will be thinking about how you are spending the holidays and taking comfort in knowing that you hold us in your hearts"

'Role model for all Soldiers'

Mettille had served 26 years in the National Guard and previously lived in Winona, Stillwater and Rosemount, Minn

"He was a role model for all Soldiers and will be sorely missed," said Maj Gen Larry Shellito, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard "I ask the citizens of Minnesota to keep his family in their thoughts and prayers"

Mettille was born to a family of eight in Winona One brother serves full time in the Navy When he was 17, Mettille joined the National Guard, serving weekends, and later enlisted full time He married Penny Rosenthal after working with her at a restaurant in Winona while both were attending Winona State University

They had two children, Michael (Scott) Mettille, 18, and Elizabeth Mettille, 21, both of Ames, Iowa They divorced in 1989 and he married Pam (Christy) Mettille They have two children, Tom, 9, and Mary, 11

In December, while home on a brief leave, Mettille talked with Elizabeth about how much he loved being a Soldier They were celebrating an early Christmas at his mother's home in Winona

"I was really proud of him, and I enjoyed hearing about all the good things he did for people," Elizabeth Mettille said Friday from Ames "He was in charge of a lot of people's lives and well-being, and it was heart-warming to hear him helping other people and doing what he could to make people feel that there was someone there for them"

Stress was wearing on him

She never worried about her father being killed in combat, but she worried about his mental health, she said, because he took on so many other people's problems in Iraq, counseling Soldiers on issues ranging from the traumas of war to career paths but rarely talking about his own problems In December he looked exhausted, as though stress was wearing on him, Elizabeth said

After returning to Iraq, he wrote of the "great pride" he and others take in serving:

"Our many accomplishments have brought us a great deal of satisfaction We have delivered thousands of semi loads of food, equipment and fuel We have re-supplied small bases located on our main supply routes We have patrolled our local area, making a positive impact on the local community"

Joy Powell • 612-673-7750 • jpowell@startribune.com
Star Tribune
February 02, 2007 – 10:16 PM

Source: http://www.startribune.com/462/story/977996.html

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.

Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.

Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.

In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.

Article archive