/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Operation Helping Hands for Hometown Heroes

Minnesota National Guard MINNEAPOLIS, Minn- A Minneapolis-based company pitched in to provide a brighter Christmas for 94 military families throughout Minnesota this year Volunteers from US Bank partnered with the Minnesota National Guard's Family Assistance Centers to identify military families in need during the holiday season

"US Bank values Minnesota Service members and the sacrifices they make each and every day," said Melinda Thein, US Bank Business Line Risk Analyst To recognize those sacrifices, US Bank came up with a project called "Operation Helping Hands for Hometown Heroes" which granted Christmas wishes for military families this season This is one of many examples of how Minnesota companies feel compelled to support the troops

US Bank is one of 34 companies in Minnesota to be recognized as Yellow Ribbon Companies, which signifies their commitment to hiring and supporting military members, veterans and their families

Thein explained, "It takes many hands and a lot of organization to make something like this come together" US Bank teams and individuals identified themselves as wanting to participate in this project With a simple phone call, they were connected with a program coordinator at a local Military Family Assistance Center, or FAC FACs are part of the Minnesota National Guard's Yellow Ribbon Readiness Services and played a critical role in identifying military families on the companies behalf

"We asked the FAC to identify Minnesota military families who could use a few merry tidings and good cheer this holiday season," Thein relayed This connection allowed military members to remain anonymous yet still provided very specific details of the needs and wants of the family units such as the number of people within the family and their ages The families were asked to complete a "wish list" and that wish list was passed on to the teams

"We will do whatever we can to find families to adopt," said Christina Rost, Military Family Assistance Specialist adding that, "Melinda and US Bank made it possible for us to reach out to these families"

The efforts of many individuals and teams at US Bank started snowballing and gathering momentum In total 94 Minnesota military families were sponsored by 94 different teams The end state Thein describes as, "three rooms spilling over with presents, families filled with hope and gratitude coming to get their bundles, and outlier FAC representatives coming to pick up bundles for families from their region of Minnesota"

Vern Traux, the Rosemount FAC program coordinator expressed, "I think the biggest part is making sure everyone who has sacrificed to serve gets what they need at the holidays, even if it means traveling all over the state to distribute gifts and donation It's not charity; we just want to make sure everyone has a good holiday"

There are a few families and teams who asked to meet one another The meetings have been set with the help of the FAC US Bank teams have decorated their work areas in preparation to receive their families in person when the family chooses to come receive their bundle of gifts

Thein went on to describe that, "US Bank teams engaged in a selfless act with nothing to gain other than knowing that each team was helping someone, or a family, from our local military community The fact is that, though our US Bank teams are blessing military families in a profound way this holiday season, the teams are finding that they are being doubly blessed! This project has been a great team building and leadership opportunity for employees within the bank When good intentions drive an objective, nothing but good can come out of it, for both those receiving and for those giving"

During the holiday season local community organizations often rally around the spirit of giving driving the work load of the FACs into full throttle Mike Farren, the FAC Supervisor explains, "We are in a heightened state of operations during the holiday but if there is anyone who needs anything they can reach out us 24-7 no matter what time of year"

For the most current information on the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Campaign and to learn more go to wwwbtyrorg

December 19, 2013
by Staff Sgt Jennifer J Rechtfertig
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

Download photos

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.

Article archive