| Ceremony Sunday to celebrate Veterans Day
Military service runs in Jarvas Polk's family.
The first lieutenant in the Minnesota National Guard enlisted in 2005, in part because of the number of his family members who have been in the armed services over the years including grandparents, aunts and uncles.
"Serving affects people you might not even realize," said Polk, the featured speaker Sunday at the the Winona Veterans Day Ceremony. "They made me want to contribute more than I was to the world. I wanted to be part of a bigger picture."
Polk returned in May from his first deployment to Afghanistan, where he helped train Afghan police and soldiers. "It was a really gratifying experience," he said. "It made you feel like you were really contributing."
Sunday's ceremony includes a 24-hour vigil starting at midnight, the 11 a.m. ceremony, displays and a showing of the movie "Memorial Day" at the Winona Area Veterans Center.
Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, named after the 1918 cease-fire that signaled the end of World War I. The armistice was signed at 11 a.m. Nov. 11, which is where the phrase "the eleventh hour" came from.
A year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day. The holiday's name and date would change over the years until 1975, when President Gerald Ford signed into law the current rules on the holiday's observation.
For many, this year's Veterans Day ceremony is a special one. This will be the first Veterans Day since the winding down of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Polk said, including the return of the Red Bulls Minnesota Guard unit from Kuwait.
"It's really a time for us to thank fellow members of the military for their service and remember those no longer with us," he said. "We also need to take a second to realize we have people still deployed."
Winona Daily News
National Guard to Assist with Avian Influenza Response
Posted: 2015-04-26 08:43 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) called on the National Guard to deliver water for use in the disease containment effort as part of the state's response to avian influenza.
Thirty National Guard soldiers and 15 military water trucks from the Wilmar-based 682nd Engineer Battalion and the Brooklyn Park-based A Company, 134th Brigade Support Battalion will be used in the mission. Large amounts of water are needed in foaming systems being used as part of euthanasia efforts, which are in place to control further spread of avian influenza virus.
The Guard members are assigned to assist beginning Monday and will work through Wednesday as additional water transport resources are identified.
34th Combat Aviation Brigade soldiers coming home
Posted: 2015-04-24 04:07 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2015
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
Nearly 80 members of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade's Headquarters Company and 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion are returning home from a year-long deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Kuwait and Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq on Saturday morning.
Soldiers will be bussed to the Army Aviation Support Facility #1, 206 Airport Road, St. Paul, Minn., at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The remaining 130 soldiers will return next week.
Four Army National Guard installations win Secretary of the Army environmental awards
Posted: 2015-04-23 01:06 PM
ARLINGTON, Va. - Four Army National Guard installations, two arsenals, and two teams will receive Fiscal Year 2014 Secretary of the Army Awards for their environmental program achievements.
These winners will go on to represent the Army in the Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards Program later this year.
The winners of the FY 2014 Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards include these Army National Guard facilities:
Minnesota Guard job shadow program builds for the future
Posted: 2015-04-22 11:15 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - For the fifth year employees of Camp Ripley participated in a job shadow program for the purpose of education and professional development.
"Job shadowing is effective for students where 'seeing' is more beneficial than 'telling,'" according to Chief Warrant Officer 2 Dan Bednarek of the Camp Ripley Visitors Bureau.
The job shadowing program at Camp Ripley provided students an opportunity to observe working professionals in several different mechanical and technical fields on post.