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History
Minnesota National Guard
A soldier with a story

Kelly Francis ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldier, lawyer, wife, mother. These are just a few of the ways in which Capt. Kelly Francis, serves her family, the Minnesota Army National Guard and her country. And just last month, she added another: published author. Her novel, "The Ghost of Fort Leavenworth," which is part mystery and part legal thriller, hit Amazon's online shelves at the end of October.

Francis always thought she would someday join the U.S. Army, but it wasn't until she graduated law school that she decided it was time to raise her right hand and join the JAG Corps.

"In some ways, joining as an adult and a professional was easier than coming in fresh out of high school and in some ways it was harder," said Francis. "But I've enjoyed the challenges, the comradery and the pride I get from being an army officer."

Francis, who currently serves as a legal adviser with the 34th Infantry Division, is a full-time civilian attorney for a small nonprofit law firm and works in the field of labor law and government contracts. Having recently returned from a nine-month deployment to Kuwait as trial counsel for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, she found that the time was right to wrap up the fictional story she started in JAG school and send it to print.

"The fictional story begins when a young captain is murdered on post in Fort Leavenworth," said Francis. "There's some suspense, some romance and hopefully a compelling tribute to people who bravely served their country and didn't come back quite the same."

Francis has always been a writer and is sure that she will never stop. Although she lives a busy life, she won't let anything get in the way of her passion or creativity. She encourages her fellow soldiers to always make time for what they love. For her, that means writing a few words at a time.

"Service members are such a small sliver of the population, and most people don't really know who we are or what we do apart from what they see in movies," said Francis. "There are so many talented and inspiring people in the Army. People with a lot of depth and character and it's important for us to tell our own stories."

To purchase "The Ghost of Fort Leavenworth" and to contact author Capt. Kelly Francis Antoine, visit the website www.theghostoffortleavenworth.com.

December 2, 2015
by 1st Lt. Holly Elkin
34th Combat Aviation Brigade 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."



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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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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."



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Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
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Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

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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.



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