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Minnesota National Guard
Gold Star Fathers Share Story of Love, Service and Sacrifice

Gold Star CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - "A Gold Star family member is a person who has lost a loved one who was serving our nation in the armed forces regardless of the circumstances of the death," said Survivor Outreach Services provider Amy Garber

Bill Smith, father of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith, and Richard Cauley, father of Spc George Cauley, two Gold Star dads, recently spoke about their sons and what it means to be a Gold Star father

"Everyone's greatest fear is the thought they'll say something awkward [to a Gold Star family member] We want to talk about our loved ones The greatest sadness would be that no one would remember," said Bill Smith

Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith was killed in action in April 2003 Paul's unit received a mission to construct an enemy prisoner of war holding area near the Baghdad International Airport Paul's platoon came under attack by a company-sized element Paul led a counterattack against the enemy which repulsed the enemy attack, but ultimately cost him his life

For his actions against a superior enemy force and for saving the lives of the men in his platoon, Paul was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in a ceremony presided over by President George W Bush, April 4, 2005

Spc George Cauley died from wounds received in combat when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device (IED) on Oct 7, 2009, in Helmand province, Afghanistan "George wasn't supposed to be on mission that day," said his father Richard Cauley "He volunteered for the mission"

Spc Cauley was serving with the 114th Transportation Company, which was nicknamed "Wolfpack" His mission was to convoy to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade at FOB Dwyer in the Helmand province While en route his vehicle struck an IED Days later he died from his wounds For his heroism and service, Spc Cauley was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart

When asked what he wanted people to remember about his son, Richard Cauley responded: "George was dedicated - he would help anybody at any time He loved his country and he loved his family He wanted to be part of something bigger than himself"

In closing Mr Smith added, "I think Paul would say, 'If I could do it all over again, I would do it all over again'"

March 25, 2015
by Maj John Donovan
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
Article source
http://www.brainerddispatch.com/news/3707356-camp-ripley-gold-star-fathers-share-story-love-service-and-sacrifice



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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.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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