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Minnesota National Guard
We are strong, but not invincible

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- It's probably a cystwas the thought running through my head as I conducted my self-breast exam No worries, I've had them before I'm busy with work, my family and my involvement with the VFW

Six months pass I'm thinking about the lump in my breast and now, I have started to worry I could be one in eight One of eight women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime Why have I waited so long to have this lump checked out?

It's test day and the technician is quiet as she conducts an ultrasound on the lump following the mammogram I feel my breath catch in my throat as the doctor walks into the room "You're clear It's only a cyst" I breathe again and think of the women who haven't been as fortunate to hear those words

I know three women with ties to the Minnesota National Guard whose lives have been forever changed by breast cancer Their stories inspired the Pink Tank Project The goal of the Pink Tank Project is to build breast cancer awareness for all women whether they wear the uniform or not The Pink Tank Project is a promise - a promise to yourself to conduct monthly self-breast exams and have mammograms as recommended by your health care provider Liking the Pink Tank Project on Facebook ensures you receive monthly reminders to conduct self breast exams

Why a tank? Like a tank, we are strong, but not invincible

Sgt Cassie Mecuk, a military human resource specialist, is battling breast cancer for the third time She is 28-years-old and the mother of a 7-year-old daughter Her cancer has metastasized, yet she isn't living life as if there is an expiration date The tattoo on her forearm says it all, Stay Strong As she reflects, "God gives you what you can handle and I believe that, because I am equipped to deal with this I feel the Guard has helped shape me for this and prepare me to be mentally tough"

Sgt. 1st Class Brenda Woods is a five-year breast cancer survivor and her mother is currently being treated for the same disease She said, "When I found out I had breast cancer, right away I decided that this was not going to do me This is not my time"

"The hardest part is not having her here" Korleen is the daughter of Iraq War veteran, Sgt Brenda Geise Brenda lost her fight with breast cancer in 2011 when it came back for a second time Her daughter would give anything to have her back, but her attitude is very much like her mother's She is living life to the fullest and is able to find the positive even in the tough moments

As each woman tells their story, I feel lucky to know these strong women Each chose a different way to combat the disease Korleen's mother chose not to seek chemotherapy and radiation the second time so as to ensure a better quality of life for her last days Yet, it is apparent that breast cancer did impact each woman in the same way It brought forward what was important in their life - family

In the military, service members are responsible for providing oversight for their "battle buddies" Women band together and form support networks to make it through the rigors of combat Breast cancer is no different We must commit to our ethos of "never leaving a fallen comrade" and we must "never quit" until all women know the importance of doing regular self checks, getting mammograms and following up on early detection

Become a member of the Pink Tank Project by liking the Pink Tank Project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pinktankproject Make the promise, today Make the promise to yourself

October 1, 2013
by Maj Kristen L Auge
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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