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Minnesota National Guard
'Minnesota Nice' Makes Wounded Airman Feel at Home

Wounded Airman ST. PAUL, Minn. - During a 2013 deployment in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Taylor Savage was in a vehicle hit by an Improvised Explosive Device. She suffered extensive life-threatening injuries and has undergone multiple surgeries.

Savage arrived in Minnesota last fall for the reconstruction of her pelvis at Hennepin County Medical Center. She and her mother stayed at the hospital several weeks and then moved to a hotel near the Mall of America to recover from the surgery before being cleared to leave Minnesota.

Minnesota military members and Minnesotans around the metro took it upon themselves to make this wounded Airman feel at home during her recovery.

"I had the opportunity to visit with Savage and her mom just before Christmas and witnessed the outpouring of generous donations and support from around the Twin Cities," said Chief Master Sgt. Kelly Wilkinson, Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager at the 133rd Airlift Wing.

The family received dozens of donations, gifts and other items that made them feel a little more comfortable while she was recovering away from home.

"After many individuals heard of her story they rallied around and helped this family feel at home while being away from home during the holidays," said Wilkinson. "Both mom and Taylor have expressed to me their deepest appreciation for the people of Minnesota and have said numerous times that they have never been treated so well during this terrible ordeal as they have in Minnesota. She received magnificent medical care at Hennepin Country Medical Center and they are both overwhelmingly astounded by the generosity of the people here."

The greatest act of the generosity came from metro Minnesota military members when Savage was scheduled to leave. The 133rd Operations Group, 210th Civil Engineers, 109th Aeromedical Squadron, 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and other key leadership at the 133rd Airlift Wing stepped up to help get this airman back home to South Carolina.

Savage and her mom needed assistance with transportation from the hotel to the aircraft, because she has to be transported on a stretcher. Members throughout the 133rd Airlift Wing teamed up together to help pack her things, transport her and her belongings and get her on a flight back home. A traditional member of the 133rd Airlift Wing who works at North Memorial full -ime volunteered with a co-worker to provide transportation via ambulance for Taylor and her mom.

"She is one of the most resilient people I have ever met," said Chief Steven Randall, 133rd Communication Flight Chief and also a patient who underwent similar surgery like Taylor. "I know she was in good hands and I wanted her to see me that in just a few more months she can be up and walking around like I am."

Taylor is originally from 628th Medical Group and was deployed with the Army as a first responder. She returned to Scott Air Force Base for continued care and to be closer to her family.

January 28, 2016
by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Olivares
133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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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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Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.

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