/*********************************************** * 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
Purple Up! event brings awareness for Month of the Military Child in Minnesota

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- April is the Month of the Military Child On the morning of Tuesday, April 15, Minnesota's military-connected youth were honored for the first time at the State Capitol Rotunda in St Paul, to celebrate the fourth annual "Purple Up!" day This was an opportunity to call attention to military kids who endure special challenges when a parent serves in the Armed Forces Event attendees wore the color purple, to symbolize all branches of the military, as a fun way to show support

Purple Up! is a nation-wide effort initiated by Operation Military Kids The recognition reinforces that military-connected youth play an integral role in supporting their Service member The event was supported locally by a variety of community members and special guests to include; Governor Mark Dayton, Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, the Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard and committed civic leader Terri Popp, President of the Minnesota Military Family Tribute They all acknowledged the resilience that military-connected youth embody, and offered a heartfelt thank you

Each year Governor Dayton invites Minnesota Service members to register their children for a letter from him that recognizes military kids for the tremendous role they play in the lives of Service members The letter states, "You serve in your own way by being supportive, understanding, and patient We understand it is difficult to have a deployed Service Member miss an important holiday, birthday, sports event, or graduation We are very grateful for you" Ten-year-old Gavin Hannan, 10, of Farmington and his little sister Reagan, 3, received their letters from Governor Dayton in person

Daughter of an Army Chief Warrant Officer, Maurela Miller, 15,explained, "It's a lot of sacrifice on both parts Both deployments, when my dad was gone we had a new baby brother each time, and we had to help raise them and help with the dogs Being the oldest I had to help out a lot, keeping the family together It's kind of just a day by day thing; you never know what is coming next Before my dad got deployed we were all so close, and having him gone for so long, we are still trying to pick up the pieces" Her younger sister Bailey explained that getting a letter from the governor was very helpful to her, that it made her feel proud of herself and her dad

In Minnesota, 20,000 men and women serve in the military Currently, about 275 Minnesota National Guard members are deployed The 114th Transportation Company, based in Chisholm, sent home a special video message for the youth from overseas to let them know that their smiles, letters and love are what keeps them strong

Jenn Ballard, a military spouse, brought her three military kids ages 4, 2 and 1 She emotionally expressed, "I think it is so important that we as a community support these kids, because they are truly heroes on the home front They go through sacrifices and struggles, yet show strength in the difficult times"

Terri Popp made a ground breaking announcement that a memorial will be constructed by the Minnesota Military Family Tribute on the State Capitol Mall which will be the first of its kind in the nation for military families The Mall of America, one of the newest Yellow Ribbon Companies, donated gift baskets for the military youth Vikings Cheerleaders attended the event and posed for photos Twins tickets were also made available

"It is important for these military-connected youth to know that their nation and community stand by them in support, and that we recognize their strength and the sacrifices they have made," said Army Capt Marian Belinski, Minnesota National Guard state family programs director

In addition to the Purple Up! event, many activities for military youth are scheduled throughout April, Find a complete list at www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org and click on the Month of the Military Child special feature Letters from the governor are requested by visiting the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs website wwwMinnesotaVeteranorg

April 15, 2014
by Staff Sgt Jennifer Rechtfertig
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

Download photos

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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."

Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

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.

Article archive