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Minnesota National Guard
Veteran's live beyond the yellow ribbon

With many US Armed Forces veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, Scott County Veterans Service is working hard to help troops make the transition back to civilian life

In an effort to connect with returning Soldiers, their families and all members of the community, a presentation Wednesday, Feb 21, will focus on issues surrounding the reintegration of Soldiers into their hometowns

Maj John Morris, the deputy state chaplain of the Minnesota National Guard, developed the idea for the community forum "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" as a way to connect with all facets of the community "Just about everybody in the county is going to be affected in some way by these young people coming back," said Todd Kubinski, Scott County veterans service director

Anyone can attend the presentation, which will be beneficial for local government officials and staff: faith-based organizations, community groups, fraternal organizations, service providers, hospitals, clinics, police officers, firefighters and public health providers

Among the speakers will be two veterans who have recently returned from service overseas

The forum also will feature speakers from the state Department of Veterans Affairs and county Human Services Department There will be time for a question-and-answer session

"We want to give the business leaders and community leaders and family members an idea of some of the things they can expect to see and make them aware of whatever supportive services they need," Kubinski said

Topics will include addressing the needs of returning combat veterans and their families; raising awareness of the reintegration process commonly experienced by returning veterans; warning signs of post-traumatic stress disorder; and adjusting to civilian life after being a combat Soldier

Kubinski estimated that in the near future, about 50 to 75 veterans will be returning to Scott County from overseas

With those numbers and the Jan 16 death by suicide of an Iraq war veteran from Prior Lake on people's minds, the community meeting was planned

Combat veterans can encounter a range of challenges when reintegrating into civilian life, according to Kubinski

Some of those relate post-combat traumatic stress, such as chemical dependency or other mental health issues Kubinski says a lot of combat veterans are unaware they are eligible for two years of free medical care for those conditions related to their military service

These issues require a more involved response, but other challenges can be just as important

Reintegration services can help veterans adapt their military experience in a résumé to obtain a civilian job Resources can connect veterans to the state's Dislocated Workers Program or one of the Minnesota workforce centers

Other programs address the needs of families or couples as their relationships change and grow One of the options the county's veterans service provides is home visits if people aren't comfortable coming to the county office

There are dozens of other services, from child care to tax preparation assistance, that people can learn about at the community meeting

"I will brag up and down about the Minnesota National Guard's reintegration program," Kubinski said "It is a model that every state should follow"

In Brief

A community presentation regarding the reintegration of veterans into the community will be 7 to 9 pm Wednesday, Feb 21, at the Savage American Legion Hall, 12375 Princeton Ave S For more information, call the Scott County Veterans Service Office at (952) 496-8176

Veterans or their family members can have a wide range of reintegration questions answered at the Web site Military One Source at wwwmilitaryonesourcecom or call 1-800-342-9647

By Tad Johnson, Thisweek Newspapers
2/15/07

Source: www.thisweek-online.com



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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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