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Minnesota National Guard
Red Tail Squadron brings story of the Tuskegee Airmen to the Minnesota National Guard

Tuskegee Airmen ST PAUL, Minn- Members of the Minnesota National Guard had the opportunity to hear the history of the Tuskegee Airmen during a presentation, February 8, 2015, at the Army Aviation Support Facility in St Paul

Tim Barzen, a volunteer with the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, has a passion for ensuring that the history of the Tuskegee Airmen who flew more than 15,000 sorties in approximately 1,500 missions in World War II

"When I'm asked to describe the Tuskegee Airmen, they're ordinary people who have done extraordinary things and they very quietly changed the world," said Barzen

Barzen brought that message to a group of Minnesota National Guard aviators in a facility where National Guardsmen fly and maintain rotary wing aircraft with the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade

"I'm telling the story about great American heroes and I'm telling that story to great American heroes," said Barzen "The Tuskegee Airmen really never were recognized until recently in the history books for what they did I think it's important to recognize the efforts of today's Soldier"

The goal of the Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron is to share the inspiring legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen through educational outreach The squadron travels with a "Rise Above" exhibit that tells the stories of how the Tuskegee Airmen overcame adversity and they also maintain and fly a vintage World War II P-51C red-tailed Mustang which is similar to the aircraft the Tuskegee Airmen flew

"What we're trying to do is we're trying to capture the remaining Tuskegee Airmen on film so that when they are gone we still have them telling their story because they are the most effective at telling their story," said Barzen

Many of those in the audience were somewhat familiar with the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, but found the personal stories from the presentation helpful in truly bringing the story to life

"I've seen the movie of the Tuskegee Airmen," said Warrant Officer Trisha Baker with the 2nd Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment "And just to actually watch them speak, frankly it was really humbling What an honor to know them and get their experiences firsthand"

February 8, 2015
by Master Sgt Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

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