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ST PAUL, Minn- Soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division were on hand to witness the shipment of more than 22,000 books to the Ebola-stricken nation of Liberia The shipment comes as approximately 300 Red Bulls prepare to deploy this spring to Liberia to lead US military efforts to combat the West African Ebola outbreak
"This event gives us a chance to meet some of the other great Minnesotans that will be on the ground with us in West Africa for Operation United Assistance," said Army Maj Gen Neal Loidolt, commanding general of the Red Bulls "Building these relationships early will be important part of this unique mission"
The 34th ID will provide command and control of US military forces supporting the United States Agency for International Development's response to the outbreak in the region, and the Wing will provide tactical airlift support
"To send books to Liberia at this point in time, particularly after the Ebola crisis, I think is timely and will change lives," said Ahmed Sirleaf, the collaborating, learning and adapting advisor at the US Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, who was on hand to accept the donation on behalf of the embassy's local Employee Staff Association Sirleaf, who grew up in Liberia, worked and attended school in Minnesota
According to Sirleaf, the shipment comes at a good time for the children of Liberia With schools closed to stem the spread of the disease, many of the nation's children are without reading materials
Books for Africa, the Minnesota organization behind the shipment, has sent more than 31 million books since 1988
According to a recent World Health Organization report, of the more than 20,000 reported Ebola cases, nearly 8,000 people have lost their lives in the region since the outbreak began
December 23, 2014 by Sgt 1st Class Ben Houtkooper
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.