| Peter Sajevic, former coach, athletics director at St. Paul Johnson High School, dies at 91
Brig. Gen. Peter J. Sajevic, the former athletics director at St. Paul Johnson High School and president of the National Guard Association, died Saturday, Nov. 3, at Waverly Gardens in North Oaks. He was 91.
His son, John Sajevic, said that his father was a very social person who impacted many people -- in the military and as a coach.
"The recurring theme is that when responsibility was put in front of him, he always stepped up to it," John Sajevic said. "He was somebody people could rely on."
Sajevic was born on July 27, 1921, and was raised in Chisholm, Minn. He graduated from Colorado A&M, now Colorado State University. Sajevic was captain of the basketball team.
In 1943, he left school to enlist in the military and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in World War II as a field artillery officer in the Marine Corps. He served at the Battle of Iwo Jima as a platoon leader.
"He was somebody who loved assisting people as a leader," John Sajevic said. "He was old-fashioned, and that's consistent with his military background."
After coming home and completing his degree, Sajevic was teacher for the next 35 years -- 26 of them spent at Johnson High School in St. Paul. There, he was the track, gymnastics, basketball and football coach. He also was the athletics director.
In 1953, Sajevic transferred from the Marine Corps Reserves to the Minnesota Army National Guard. In 1976, he retired as the 47th Infantry Division artillery commander and was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Minnesota Medal for Merit and the Presidential Unit Citation for his service at Iwo Jima. Sajevic also was president of the National Guard Association.
In his retirement, Sajevic was an avid golfer, a "life master" bridge player and was president of the men's club at St. Louis Catholic Church.
"He was a well-rounded individual," his son said. "Through sports, playing bridge and traveling with his wife, they were really able to touch a lot of lives."
Sajevic is survived by his wife of 68 years, Florence; six children; 13 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, with visitation at 9 a.m. at Holcomb-Henry-Boom-Purcell Funeral Home, 515 Minnesota 96 W. in Shoreview.
Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
By Katie Askew
Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing Practices Precision Cargo Drops
Posted: 2015-05-25 09:30 AM
In a nation struggling with war fatigue, it's important to pause on Memorial Day and recognize the Minnesotans still answering their country's call: men and women who leave their jobs and families to put on a military uniform.
Few military units have seen more activations and deployments since 9/11 than Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing -- its 1,200 members are essential to moving supplies and soldiers to wherever they're needed.
On part of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where few civilian passengers step, families feel the anxiety of separation as they say goodbye again to air crew flying far, far away.
Minnesota National Guard and central Minnesota communities honor Memorial Day together
Posted: 2015-05-22 11:44 AM
CAMP RIPLEY - Garrison staff of Camp Ripley and other members of the Minnesota National Guard will take part in events this weekend honoring those who died in service to the United States.
"As members of the local community, we are honored to participate in Memorial Day events," said Lt. Col. Chad Sackett, deputy garrison commander at Camp Ripley. "It is right and fitting that we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of those who died in service to our nation."
Minnesota National Guard members are speaking at events throughout the Memorial Day weekend. For those interested in attending a Memorial Day ceremony, here are a few of the listings for central Minnesota:
Fort Hood shooting victim's family receives posthumous Purple Heart medal
Posted: 2015-05-22 08:00 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - More than five years after Pfc. Kham See Xiong lost his life in a mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the Xiong family received his Purple Heart in a Ceremony during Hmong American Day in St. Paul, Minn.
"Kham was an American Solider, a Hmong-American who raised his right hand and swore to defend the constitution of the United States, a Hero," said keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Kent D. Savre, Fort Leonard Wood commanding general. Savre served as commander of the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood during the attack.
Four hundred members of the Hmong and St. Paul community crowded into the Harriet Island Pavilion as rain fell, May 14, 2015, to witness the Purple Heart Ceremony.
148th Fighter Wing Excels at Combat Hammer
Posted: 2015-05-21 03:44 PM
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah - Approximately 180 Airmen and Block 50 F-16's from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. participated in an exercise known as Combat Hammer while at Hill AFB, Utah in early May 2015. Combat Hammer is a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) that evaluates weapon systems in their entirety.
While the exercise was about a week long for most 148FW Airmen, it was quite a bit longer for those Airmen actually building the bombs and missiles. "Typically, we are one of the first assets to show up at a deployment," said 2nd Lt. Mylii Pukema, 148FW Munitions Officer. "We show up about a week before most everyone else, so we can build up the weapons and have them ready when the jets arrive."
"It's a common misconception that weapons come already built," said Pukema. "Different weapons have different levels of configuration that have to happen. It can be a lot of detail that goes into configuring a weapon or it can be relatively simple, it just depends on the mission."
148FW Munition's Airmen were evaluated from the time the weapon came out of the box. How they practiced safety and followed tech data during the building of the weapon were key components to the evaluation process.