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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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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.

The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.

As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



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