| 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
The Minnesota National Guard hosts its first Joint Female Professional Development Training Symposium
Posted: 2015-04-16 05:26 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
More than 300 hundred Minnesota National Guard women will gather together for the first Joint Female Professional Development Training Symposium at Metropolitan State University on April 18, 2015.
"The day is going to be packed full of growth and development opportunities for skills advancement, communication/networking, career mapping, being a leader and competing in the arena," said Lt. Col. Barb Pazdernik, event coordinator.
Approximately 20 percent of Minnesota National Guard soldiers and airmen are women. With more than 13,000 members, it's no secret that more males are in leadership positions - but solutions are in place to change that.
Minnesota 'Purples Up' for Military Children
Posted: 2015-04-15 03:00 PM
Since 1986, the Department of Defense has celebrated April as the "Month of the Military Child", a recognition of the courage of and sacrifices made by children of military parents. More than 1.7 million American children under the age of 18 have at least one parent serving in the military many of whom have deployed several times.
"Month of the Military Child is great here in Minnesota," said the Minnesota National Guard's Family Programs Director Army Capt. Marian Belinski during a recent interview on Minnesota Military Radio. "We have phenomenal support from the government officials to our military leadership and the community in general."
Statewide Joining Community Forces - Minnesota events provide support for communities and military
Posted: 2015-04-14 08:53 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - "Each year Joining Community Forces events strengthen the synchronization of effort across the state in sharing resources and building partnerships in support of military-connected residents." said Minnesota National Guard Director of Military Outreach, Annette Kuyper.
Registration closes Wednesday, April 15, for both afternoon and evening meetings that are scheduled for Albert Lea on April 23; Alexandria on April 30; Willmar on May 7; Cloquet on May 14; and Richfield on May 20.
"These meetings are important to the Yellow Ribbon Networks because it allows them to learn about how other communities are connecting with Service members, veterans and military families as well as how to connect with resources they can tap into to support them," said Kuyper.
Minnesota National Guard recognizes April as sexual assault awareness month
Posted: 2015-04-13 03:49 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program is working to increase intervention and ensure leaders at all levels are supportive of victims of sexual assault.
"We all joined the military for a reason and part of that underlying reason," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Diaz, the Minnesota National Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "I think with a majority of people, you're here to keep people safe and defend people, so why wouldn't you put that into play with the people that you work next to every day?"
Intervention can play a key role in not just stopping sexual assaults as they are happening, but also stopping a situation before it escalates to the point of sexual assault. All Soldiers and Airmen in the Minnesota National Guard are taught to watch out for each other and to intervene when a situation seems to be inappropriate or when a person may be at risk.
"Intervening in something is very hard because we're in a time now where people tend to think, 'Well, just mind your own business, it doesn't concern you'," said Diaz. "So it's really just trying to get that comfort level up with anybody to be able to stop something that they think might not be right."