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Minnesota National Guard
Timberwolves Celebrate Military Appreciation Month

The Minnesota Timberwolves chose November as an opportunity to salute Minnesota military members, a fitting tribute to remember Veterans Day on Nov 11

On Fri Nov 9, the team's home game against the Indian Pacers at Target Center was extra special for a few Minnesota National Guardsmen


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Master Sgt Rich Kemp of Brooklyn Park, Minn was the 'Military Hero of the Game' In 1981, at the age of twenty-two , he joined the Minnesota National Guard Master Sgt Kemp has served in the military for over 31 years and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division in 2009

"I was very honored to be recognized as the 'Military Hero of the Game'," said Kemp a father of two, "I appreciate the Timberwolves for honoring the military and all veterans during military appreciation night It was great to have my family present for the occasion"

All branches of the military were represented in the joint color guard Another impressive feat was the large flag on the court, held by forty members of the Minnesota National Guard Even participants of the flag detail were able to enjoy the sentiments of the game

"It's nice to see that we are appreciated, both those who have served and those who are still serving and the fact that the Timberwolves not only gave military members tickets but also allowed them to bring their families to the games showed appreciation for the military from a whole other side," said Senior Airmen Kari Giles, Public Affairs Specialist from the 133rd Airlift Wing in St Paul, Minn "Being a part of the flag detail was a great honor, every time I hold that flag it reminds me what I fight for and why I serve"

Another military orientated event for the participants of the game to see was a 'Big Thank you Card', which stands 16 feet high and 48 feet long The American Legion of Elk River, along with the Minnesota National Guard, are making the worlds largest thank you card for the troops of the 257th Military Police Company, currently deployed to Afghanistan Anyone is welcomed to sign the card The group's goal is to collect 257,000 signatures prior to the troops coming home and to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records

One of the more symbolic military focused events for anyone in attendance to see was fifteen Minnesota National Guard recruits take the oath of enlistment The oath is a sworn pledge that all new Minnesota recruits take during enlistment The promise, common with all enlistees, is something above and beyond personal goals or ambition; it is about the values of an entire nation

Story by Tech Sgt Lynette Olivares
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
Nov 9, 2012




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