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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard prepares for Hockey Day Minnesota

Hockey Day ST PAUL, Minn- In the ninth year since its inception, Hockey Day Minnesota has quickly become the State of Hockey's showcase of talents for all ages - from peewees to the pros This year's event will be played atop an active airfield at Holman Field in downtown Saint Paul

Partnered with the organization Serving our Troops, Hockey Day Minnesota will proudly honor the service of Minnesota's Service members by presenting a military theme and also providing live feedback to the St Paul-based 34th Combat Aviation Brigade members who are currently deployed to Kuwait

To kick off the weekend's events, the Minnesota National Guard hockey team will play against the Canadian Armed Forces hockey team in a friendly border-game It is no secret that the state of Minnesota is known for hockey - men and women of all ages participate in the sport and it is certainly no different for the military members who reside here Combining both Army and Air National Guardsmen, the Minnesota team will be well-matched against a tough Canadian Team

To get ready for Hockey Day, the Minnesota National Guard's players have been getting in ice time at the University of Minnesota which generously donated its facilities Behind the scenes, however, the team's organizers have been putting together their uniforms for the big game Through charitable contributions from the organization Defending the Blue Line, the team has been outfitted with military-themed jerseys, matching socks and necessary protective equipment

Shane Hudella, president and founder of Defending the Blue Line, is no stranger to being "uniform," as he served alongside many of the players in the Minnesota National Guard before retiring to take on his new venture with DTBL The organization was first started in 2009 with a mission to ensure that Service members and their children are afforded every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey

"Hockey players are able to perform at their best when they have the right equipment and I wanted to make sure the players of the Minnesota National Guard were outfitted right," said Hudella

One piece of equipment in particular is unique in the game of hockey, being worn by a goalie, the "mask" is often times painted to display the individual personality of the wearer Hudella was able to put Minnesota National Guard's Maj Darrin Janisch in touch with professional hockey goalie mask painter, Todd Miska, who designed and painted his mask for him Miska surprised Janisch with a military-themed mask just in time for the game Miska's work is well-known in the National Hockey League and worn by many of its players

"It is an honor to deliver a mask for this warrior," said Miska who surprised Janisch even further by donating his time and work free of charge

"We are the world's leading military for a reason," said Hudella "We may not win every battle, but we always leave everything on the table I expect the Service members on the Minnesota National Guard team will do just that and if they give one hundred percent, the team will prevail"

January 15, 2015
by Tech Sgt Paul Santikko
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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