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Minnesota National Guard
Honoring Veterans, Public TV Series Explores Issues Facing Minnesota Soldiers, Families

Continuing a partnership it began in 2005 with the Minnesota National Guard, Twin Cities Public Televison (TPT) will air the latest in a series of programs this month telling the stories of Minnesota soldiers and their families

And the work of a Roseville resident, Luke Heikkila, was instrumental in assembling the project, according to National Guard representatives
Continuing a partnership it began in 2005 with the Minnesota National Guard, Twin Cities Public Televison (TPT) will air the latest in a series of programs this month telling the stories of Minnesota soldiers and their families

And the work of a Roseville resident, Luke Heikkila, was instrumental in assembling the project, according to National Guard representatives

The newest partner project is "Bridging War and Hope," featuring 22 National Guard members who returned in October from a year in Afghanistan working with farmers through their local agricultural ministries to improve production and expand the marketing of their products, according to a TPT news release This and several more tpt-produced shows will air around Veteran's Day, Nov11, tpt officials added


"For the second time in three years, tpt producer Luke Heikkila has personally traveled to a combat zone so that he could share with viewers, the challenges, successes and sacrifice of our citizen-soldiers and their families," said Lt Col Kevin Olson, director of public affairs for the Minnesota National Guard "We sincerely appreciate tptÕs commitment to telling the stories of the men and women in the Minnesota National Guard"


Through tptÕs Minnesota Partnerships initiative, Heikkila has produced several documentaries and series with the Minnesota National Guard, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and health organizations to increase understanding and support for soldiers and veterans and their families during and after their deployments, the public TV network said


"Bridging War and Hope is a one-of-a-kind look into a very unique mission that will bring enduring economic stability to the people of Afghanistan,"said Olson He said one of HeikkilaÕs films-"Iraq and Back: Minnesotans' Stories,"-is being used for training Guard troops before deployment


TPT said it will broadcast these special programs in November in honor of Veteran's Day (Air times follow):

Joining Forces (4-part series airs Nov 4, 11, 18, 25) - In collaboration with HealthPartners Institute for Medical Education, tpt produced a series of four episodes to discuss health issues affecting Minnesota's soldiers, including traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Medical experts shed light on the struggles theyÕve seen in Minnesota soldiers and describe the adjustment process soldiers and their families endure


Iraq and Back: Minnesotans' Stories (airs Nov 11, 18) - A 2009 regional Emmy nominee, this documentary follows five soldiers and their families from the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Infantry Red Bull Division as they endure a year-long deployment to Basra, Iraq This program illustrates how they cope with the time spent away from each other Heikkila traveled to Basra, Iraq and learned first-hand what soldiers and their families experience during a deployment


-Bridging War and Hope (airs Nov 11, 18) - Located in some of the poorest, most-austere surroundings imaginable, the National Guard's Agribusiness Development Team is bridging war and hope by providing opportunities to Afghan farmers



Here is a more detailed TV schedule:
Joining Forces (4-part series)
"Home Again" Ð Nov 4 at 6:30pm; Nov 11 at 12:30am, 6:30am, 12:30pm; Nov 11(tpt LIFE) 11:00am
"On the Mend" Ð Nov 11 at 6:30pm; Nov 18 at 12:30am, 6:30am, 12:30pm; Nov 18 (tpt LIFE), 11:30am
"Grey Matters" - Nov 18 at 6:30pm; Nov 25 at 12:30am, 6:30am, 12:30pm; Nov 25 (tpt LIFE), 11:00am
"Breaking Point"- Nov 25 at 6:30pm (tpt MN)


Bridging War and Hope
Nov 11 at 9:00pm; Nov 18 at 3:00am, 9:00am, 3:00pm (tpt MN)

Iraq and Back: Minnesotans' Stories
Nov 11 at 10:00pm; Nov 18 at 4:00am, 10:00am, 4:00pm (tpt MN) By Scott Carlson
Article source
Roseville Patch



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Minnesota Identification Card will no longer grant access to Department of Defense installations

Posted: 2016-08-19  01:53 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- With the implementation of the "REAL ID Act" going into effect at Department of Defense installations nationwide, access will no longer be granted to Minnesotans carrying standard state-issued identification cards. Beginning this week, Minnesota residents will be required to have an approved escort or use alternative forms of identification to access the following installations:

- 133rd Airlift Wing, St. Paul
- 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth
- 934th Joint Base, Minneapolis
- Military Facility at Fort Snelling

Without a 'Real ID,' access will be granted only to individuals with an approved escort (i.e. a service member with a Common Access Card), or carrying one of the approved alternative forms of acceptable ID.



General John W. Vessey, Jr. - The 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Posted: 2016-08-19  08:22 AM
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr. General John W. Vessey, Jr., a former member of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division and the 10th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away August 18, 2016, at the age of 94.

General John W. Vessey, Jr. was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on 29 June 1922. He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in May 1939 while still in high school, becoming a member of Headquarters, 59th Field Artillery Brigade, 34th Infantry Division. He was only 16 and fibbed about his age to join. With other members of his unit he was called to active duty in February 1941. When war came, the 34th became the first American division sent to Europe, where it initially fought in North Africa and then in Italy. A natural leader, Vessey rose quickly in the enlisted ranks until 6 May 1944 when, pinned down on the Anzio Beachhead amidst high casualties, the 21-year old battery first sergeant was given a battlefield commission and sent forward to direct artillery fire.

Vessey decided to stay in the Army after war. During his first 30 years of military service, he spent most of his time in combat divisions. In addition to his World War II assignment with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in North Africa and Italy, Vessey served with the 4th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Division in Germany, the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and was commanding general of the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Carson, Colorado.

He attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also graduated from the University of Maryland. His love of flying prompted him to earn his wings, which he always wore proudly. When he graduated from the Army Helicopter School in 1970, he was 15 years older than the next oldest student.



Message of hope and healing stands out during fun run

Posted: 2016-08-18  10:49 AM
Power of One Fun Run CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - A 5K run/walk event was held for Minnesota National Guard service members Saturday at Camp Ripley.

This event is one of two in the series of fun runs hosted by the Resilience, Risk Reduction & Suicide Prevention, or R3SP.

"Soldiers truly enjoyed this alternative training option. The smiles that were on the participants faces when they crossed the finish line showed they had fun," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeanette Chaffee of R3SP.



Guard unit proudly carries Heritage Torch

Posted: 2016-08-17  09:07 AM
1-194 CAV CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment celebrated, remembered and cherished the legacy of their unit with several events this past drill weekend.

The inheritance of over 70 years of deployments, challenges and achievements resonated in the several events executed by the men and women of the battalion.

"The trials this unit lived through since its creation are inspirational for all of us ... no matter what you are doing," said Capt. Joe Howe, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment.



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