/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Operation Homefront, Camp Ripley spread Christmas cheer to military families

Minnesota National Guard LITTLE FALLS -- As St Cloud's Natasha Pederson prepared to leave Camp Ripley on Sunday, she was grateful

Pederson was grateful that Operation Homefront and Camp Ripley's Family Assistance Center were working together to provide toys for the families of current and former service members

She also was grateful that her husband, who is serving in Afghanistan, is expected home by Christmas But most of all she was just grateful that her 4-year-old son Conner, who is autistic, has a chance to have a truly merry Christmas

Pederson recently lost her job, making money tight for the family this holiday season Sunday's holiday toy drive offered a wealth of gifts for Conner and peace of mind for his mother

"My husband makes enough, but money is really, really, really, tight," she said "We don't have much left over, so with Christmas coming I honestly didn't know how I was going to give Conner a Christmas Something like this is just amazingly helpful"

More than 70 children stopped by the event Sunday and dozens more were expected to have gifts delivered to them later in the day, according to Tami Klucas, who helped organize the event In all, about 100 children would receive gift donations, Klucas said

"It's my favorite part of my job We deal with a lot of difficult things in what I do and this time of year, everybody needs just a little more Christmas spirit," Klucas said

The toys given away Sunday consisted of donations collected from Dollar Tree stores from around Minnesota along with contributions from Operation Homefront Darcy Clardy of Operation Homefront said the support for the event has been awe-inspiring

"The volume that comes in is just amazing When we are done with these events we can give the extra toys out to the Salvation Army, shelters, different church charities, inner-city youth groups, boys and girls clubs wherever there's a need we try to provide it if we have extra toys," she said

Cassie James of Rice was in attendance Sunday with her mother, Pat, 1-year-old daughter Lorelai and 3-year-old son Sage When he wasn't by his mother's side, Sage could be found scooting across the floor in hot pursuit of his trio of toy trucks

James, whose husband is deployed with the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company, said the event comes at the perfect time and could have far-reaching effects on area military families She said the generosity along with her husband's homecoming should make for a happy holiday season for her and other military families

"There will be a lot of extremely happy people in the 850th," she said

Both Clardy and Klucas said one of the event's goals is to help let families escape reality for a short time so they can just have fun

"It's great to see the kids light up," Clardy said "They get to shop, and get toys and play, and have goodies and all the good stuff It really brings home all that whole Christmas spirit"

Planning the event isn't always easy, but it's most definitely worth it, Klucas said

"It's a lot of work, I'll admit it And it's a lot of stress leading up to it But it's absolutely fantastic to know that people who would never seek out this type of help come here," she said

For Pederson, as much as the day was about providing toys for her son, it also was about helping him understand the true meaning of Christmas

"This is the first time that he really understands what Christmas is about it's so hard to explain through words to get him to understand what things mean," Pederson said "This way he's able to come here and when he opens up those presents he remembers the people that gathered around and gave them"

Dec 15, 2013
Written by
Ben Katzner
Article source
http://www.sctimes.com/article/20131215/NEWS01/312150054/Operation-Homefront-Camp-Ripley-spread-Christmas-cheer-military-families?nclick_check=1



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."



Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Article archive
 
top