/*********************************************** * 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
Vet uses hockey to give back to military families

Jun 19 2:52 PM ET | By Sarah Spain

Shane HudellaCourtesy of Defending The Blue Line
Shane Hudella will retire from his role in the Minnesota National Guard to run his charity, Defending the Blue Line, full time

Earlier this year at the White House, Shane Hudella was "coined" by General Martin E Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff And Hudella, a sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard, was rewarded not just for 23 years of military service, but because of the service he's doing for other military families

In 2009, Hudella founded Defending The Blue Line (DTBL) with the goal of giving help to military families who love the sport of hockey Since its inception, the nonprofit organization has provided more than 3,000 families across the country with hockey equipment, game tickets and assistance in paying for camps and leagues

DTBL has gone from a small idea to a pretty big deal over the past few years Big enough to draw significant attention and funds from the NHLPA Big enough to be profiled on "NBC Nightly News" Big enough, even, to get Hudella to the White House

DTBL was one of five winners of the Joining Forces Community Challenge, a White House initiative designed "to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary efforts of citizens and organizations across the country that are working to improve the lives of military families"

Riley Richards

Courtesy of Defending the Blue Line
Riley Richards' father, Army Sgt Timothy M Smith, was killed by an IED when Richards was just a baby Funds from DTBL have helped him find a home, and father figures, at the ice rink

Hudella has four hockey-playing sons of his own: Patton, 18; Joseph, 10; Zachary, 7; and Cooper, 3 Watching them out on the ice is a constant reminder of how important hockey can be in a kid's life, particularly a kid whose parent is deployed or has died in service to their country

A kid like Riley Richards

Riley's dad, Army Sgt Timothy M Smith was killed by an IED in 2008 Smith's wife, Shayna Richards, was left to care for their baby boy, who she would raise to share her love for the sport of hockey Riley is able to skate four days a week, thanks to assistance from DTBL

"Boy, we were just honored to be able to give her a grant," said Hudella "It was tear-jerking when she was telling us how important it is for Riley to get out to the rink, where his coaches are like father figures to him now That's why we do this"

A die-hard San Jose Sharks fan, Richards learned of DTBL through Sharks defenseman Brent Burns A former member of the Minnesota Wild, Burns shared his desire to help military families with Hudella back in 2009, helping inspire the creation of DTBL Burns is joined by many current and former NHL players who give their time and effort to the charity

Despite the growth in awareness, Hudella said the organization still must get bigger Last year DTBL was $20,000 short of its goal during the last grant cycle and had to turn away deserving families He's determined to serve everyone in need this time around To that end, he's going to retire from the service at the end of the month to spend more time running the organization

DTBL is also holding a celebrity hockey game Wednesday night at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus The game will feature NHL stars like Zach Parise of the Devils, Ryan Malone of the Lightning, Matt Hendricks of the Capitals, and local boys Josh Harding and Nate Prosser of the Wild Before the game, about 80 military kids will get to spend an hour skating with the pros and getting autographs

Tickets for the event are still available at defendingthebluelineorg, and out-of-towners who want to give to the cause can buy tickets to be given to military families who want to attend
Article source

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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."

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.

Article archive