/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
A National Guard family's homecoming continues

by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio

ST FRANCIS, Minn — Capt Freddy Munoz gave his last orders as company commander two months ago at a National Guard welcome home ceremony

After releasing his troops in St Cloud, Munoz made his way across the auditorium to see his wife Jenny and daughters Emma and Eszie for the first time since December They kissed, hugged and laughed

Munoz is among nearly 3,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers who returned from the Middle East in May The 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls were stationed in Kuwait assisting with the US military withdrawal from Iraq

Now comes the hard part

As happy as he is to be home again, Munoz knows it will take time to adjust to family life Life at home won't be as regimented as it was in Kuwait

"We just gave orders and executed our mission," he said "Now I have to get back to being a team player as opposed to being a boss That's the adjustment part Fortunately we've done this already once so I think we can manage the adjustment on this one"

"I think it'll be a little bit of an adjustment for him," she said "I mean, you go from living in a combat zone for that long to coming home and living in the suburbs, it's going to jolt anybody"
In 2007, when Freddy Munoz returned from his last tour of duty overseas, his relationship with Jenny suffered It took months for them to figure out how to live together again They fought a lot

To try and avoid problems this time around, they began preparing for the transition months in advance They sought advice on how to parent while he was away and went to a weekend marriage retreat

Earlier this month at their home in St Francis, Minn, the couple agreed that their preparation seems to be paying off

"It's easier than we expected, and I think the reason it is easier is that we were expecting it to be terribly hard and so it's nice that it's not," Jenny Munoz said "Throwing another kid in a month after he got home should have been horribly difficult It was easier than we expected"

In addition to their newly-adopted daughters, Jenny and Freddy Munoz recently took in another foster child they hope to adopt She said having children around seems to help them get along
"We were sort of forced to be a little easier on each other for the kids, because the girls would get really upset if we would disagree and argue," she said

Her husband said returning to his civilian job as a deputy with the Anoka County Sheriff's department has helped He's sleeping through the night for the first time since leaving Kuwait But they know the transition is far from over Research shows adjustment problems often take months to surface after a soldier returns from combat

Earlier this month, the couple traveled to St Cloud for a mandatory National Guard event, a day-long series of workshops designed to help ease the transition between combat and home life Soldiers are required to attend sessions on mental and physical health, Veterans Administration benefits, financial literacy and job hunting

After lunch at the St Cloud convention center, Jenny Munoz stopped at a table offering parenting resources She took some workbooks designed to help kids understand a parent's deployment She hopes it will help daughters Emma and Eszie work through their feelings

"Emma's tantrums really escalated when he left," she said of her husband's overseas duty "Eszie started having behavioral problems when he left And then he came home for good and almost everything stopped

"Then he went back to work at the sheriff department and that day we had temper tantrums start up again, so a lot of the behavioral problems were completely related to him being gone and them just not knowing how to express how they were feeling or that they were afraid or worried about him"

Since he returned to Minnesota, Freddy Munoz has noticed that he is much calmer with the children than he used to be

"I'm finally starting to adjust," he said "I'm starting to be more patient I'm not yelling as much"
His wife agreed

"I think we are all surprised at the way things have gone," she said "I think everybody was sort of expecting [him to] fly off the handle at anything, because they have to be quick to react to anything when they are over there"

While her husband has loosened up, Jenny Munoz said being a single parent for the last year taught her to be tougher and strict with the children They're still trying to get on the same page as parents

The couple's adoption of Emma and Eszie was finalized while he served in Kuwait, so they haven't had much time together since then Now that he is home, Freddy Munoz said they can start settling in as a family

"So now we are into 'OK, this is how the Munoz family is going to be,' " he said

Soldiers and their families across the state are facing their own homecoming challenges The National Guard will sponsor two more mandatory workshops designed to help them with the transition

(MPR News reporter Conrad Wilson contributed to this report)
Article source with video
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/07/20/news/national-guard-family-reintegration/



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."



Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Article archive
 
top