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Minnesota National Guard
The conflict at home: Substance Abuse Awareness Month

Minnesota National Guard ST PAUL, Minn- Not only a time for jumping into piles of red- and gold-colored leaves, October is also Substance Abuse Awareness Month

For nearly twenty years, the US has recognized Red Ribbon Week, an event to conduct drug prevention education and advocacy For several years, Minnesota National Guard members have participated in community events to support the initiative The campaign runs through the final week of October each year

"With the Red Ribbon Campaign we're going to take every opportunity that we can to promote what we're trying to do in the National Guard and highlight some of the community resources and partners that we've been working with as well," said Capt Tara Robertson, substance abuse prevention program manager for the Minnesota National Guard

The state's legislative objectives for 2014 included an emphatic care initiative for Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard though improvements in the process of substance abuse assessment and referral

"We're pretty fortunate here in Minnesota because the leadership has been so supportive," said Robertson

This year, the Minnesota National Guard secured funding to contract two licensed alcohol and drug counselors who work specifically for and with the state's troops No other state in the National Guard has this sort of asset

"Minnesota is really leading the way in a lot of areas with where we've come with the program in just the last year," said Robertson "A lot of states are still just trying to figure out how to do more than just drug testing We're taking it to a whole new Soldier wellness level"

The Minnesota National Guard also partnered with the Department of Human Services and several other state agencies in a comprehensive substance abuse strategy to address and prevent impacts of drug and alcohol abuse

Through partnerships with various community programs across the state, the substance abuse prevention program is working to proactively identify the issues related to getting Service members help By considering in-house initiatives coupled with legislative options, the Minnesota National Guard is working on all fronts to combat substance abuse among troops and around the community

"We need to reduce the stigma around getting substance abuse help," Robertson emphasized "If you do the right thing and you're proactive, then you're going to reduce the issues that you've got in the long run"

October 1, 2014
by Sgt Linsey Williams
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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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."



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.



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