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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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Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."



Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



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