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Minnesota National Guard
Tuskegee Airman, Duluth native monumentalized

DULUTH, Minn -- U S Air Force Maj (Ret) Joseph "Joe" Philip Gomer, 92, was monumentalized in bronze and stone during a statue unveiling and dedication ceremony June 23, 2012 at the local Commemorative Air Force hangar, Duluth, Minn The ceremony focused on Gomer and the new monument, which is a life-sized bronze statue resembling the World War II Tuskegee Airman fighter pilot

It was attended by more than 200 family, friends and active and retired military members His statue will permanently be on display at the new Duluth International Airport terminal in the fall of 2012


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Gomer is one of more than 960 Tuskegee Airmen, an all African-American fighter pilot unit of the Army Air Corps during World War II The Tuskegee Airmen were part of the 332nd Fighter Group and were commonly known as the "Red Tails" or "Red Tail Angels" for the distinctive paint markings on their aircraft tails The "Red Tails" hold the significance of having never lost a bomber aircraft to the enemy while they were escorting them They accomplished this feat at a high cost, losing 66 airmen in aerial combat Gomer himself flew 68 combat missions, or sorties, during his World War II service Along with fighting the enemy, the Tuskegee Airmen had to fight adversity and racism in a segregated US military "I flew for my parents, for my race, for our battle for first-class citizenship and for my country," said Gomer

Gomer continued his military career after the war, seeing the de-segregation of the military in 1948 His last duty station was at the former Duluth Air National Guard Base, Minn Gomer retired from the U S Air Force in 1964 after a military career spanning more than two decades

Gomer has raised his family stressing the value of earning an education He speaks often to youths to emphasize the importance of an education and the role it has played throughout his life He has been inducted in the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame, possesses a Doctorate of Humanities from Ellsworth College, Iowa, was featured in the "HistoryMakers Project", and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal

6/23/2012
by Tech Sgt Brett R Ewald
148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs




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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



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.



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