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Minnesota National Guard
Red Bulls Visit Local Veterans Home for the Holidays

Soldiers of Company C, 1st Brigade Support Battalion, 34th Infantry Division, have a mission: build the morale of residents at the Minnesota Veterans Home Nov 16 they visited the home in Minneapolis, Minn, to decorate for the holiday season and participate in a community Bingo event

"Our unit is usually really good about jumping at any volunteer opportunities that are open within the Minneapolis-St Paul community," said Spc Amanda Ingvaldson, a combat medic with Co C "It's nice to get out and it's nice to help the veterans that served before we did"


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We like to build relationships in the community and being here helps us reach our mission of engaging in community outreach, explained 1st Lt Lanette Vander Aarde, the officer in charge of the volunteer group

The day kicked off with a group of 20 Soldiers setting up five holiday displays throughout the home Each Soldier had different reasons for choosing to participate in the event

"I've worked in health-care for pretty much my entire adult life," said Spc Crystal Laird, a 10-year combat medic "I've worked in Alzheimer's assisted living facilities where there are a lot of veterans who are not able to make it into this home It always seemed like being able to share my experiences as a military member with them was something that is beneficial to both them and myself Being able to come here and decorate and spend time playing Bingo with them seemed like something that was just natural to work I'm already used to doing"

After decorating the home, Soldiers gathered with residents in the dining hall for a few rounds of Bingo and socializing Earl Christianson, a World War II Army veteran, appreciated the opportunity to chat with the Soldiers "It's fabulous that these young troops come so spend time with us," he said Christianson partnered with a Soldier to play Bingo and win money for his wife to purchase coffee when she visits

Nov 18, 2012
Story by Staff Sgt Danielle Eineke
34th Red Bull Infantry Division Public Affairs




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