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Minnesota National Guard
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 am 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 am 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

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347th RSG's top Soldiers gut it out for title of Best Warrior

Posted: 2016-10-17  03:24 PM
347 RSG BWC CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The 347th Regional Support Group hosted a brigade-level Best Warrior Competition at Camp Ripley Training Center from Oct. 14 to 16, 2016, to select the brigade's Best NCO and Best Soldier - both of whom will represent the brigade at the state-level competition in 2017.

"We made a point to make this event challenging, and it has been," said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Shields, assistant operations NCO for the brigade. "Regardless of the outcome, the Soldiers competing for the title of Best Warrior are getting great training value."

Ten Soldiers made up this year's field, representing 5 of the 9 units that make up the brigade. The contestants are supported by nearly forty Soldiers participating as sponsors, evaluators and staff to provide direction, motivation and support.

Minnesota National Guard celebrates Hispanic heritage month

Posted: 2016-10-16  10:46 AM
Hispanic Heritage ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard celebrated Hispanic Heritage month by inviting two members of the Hispanic community to share their stories during a potluck lunch at the Arden Hills Army Training Site, Oct. 11, 2016.

First to speak was Minnesota State Senator Patricia Torres Ray, one of two Latinas out of 67 senators in the Minnesota Senate. She spoke about her experience coming to the U.S. from Colombia and how not being able to speak the language made it a challenge to connect with people in her new country.

"I was not a minority in my country, because everybody that I knew looked like me," said Torres Ray. "I was not connected to the multi-cultural global world that you live in."

Major General Nash to Continue Service as Adjutant General of Minnesota

Posted: 2016-10-12  01:57 PM
October 12, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn.- After a successful appeal by Governor Mark Dayton to former National Guard Bureau Chief General Frank J. Grass, Major General Richard C. Nash will continue serving the state of Minnesota as Adjutant General until the state's mandatory retirement, through October 31, 2017. Without Governor Dayton's action, Major General Nash would have faced retirement under the national requirement, which would have taken effect September 30, 2016.

"Major General Nash is an exceptional leader who has served our state and nation with great distinction," said Governor Dayton. "His leadership and experience are invaluable to the Minnesota National Guard and the citizens of our state. I thank General Grass and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter for granting this extension, and I thank Major General Nash for continuing his outstanding service to Minnesota."

Care of injured bird comes full circle

Posted: 2016-10-12  12:45 PM
Eagle release CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - An eagle was released back in the wild Oct. 4, 2016, at Camp Ripley following three months of rehabilitation.

"We'd like to thank the team at Camp Ripley for rescuing and bringing this bald eagle to the Raptor Center for care," said Amber Burnette, program associate with the Raptor Center University of Minnesota. "It was our pleasure to be a part of bringing this bird back home."

The bald eagle was found along a Morrison County highway by a soldier working at Camp Ripley in mid-July, 2016. At first glance, the bird appeared to be injured and not responding to the traffic that was driving by.

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