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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Guardsman is Here to Serve

Amy Nordquist ST. PAUL, Minn. - "It is the way she treats people. She has a certain demeanor about herself. Very approachable," said Chief Master Sgt. Duke Lang, 133rd Medical Group Superintendent.

As a young woman, Capt. Amy Nordquist started her journey in the Minnesota Air National Guard the same way that most Airmen do. Looking for a challenge, she began her journey as a Senior Airman in the Aeromedical Evacuation Technician career field at the 109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. What solidified her decision to go into the military was when a high school friend challenged her by saying she couldn't make it through basic training. So Nordquist joined the Minnesota Air National Guard with the determination of proving her friend wrong.

"I saw the school benefits that were available at first. I wanted to join for the shortest time possible with the shortest schooling, get school paid for and then get out of the military," said Nordquist. "It is amazing looking back and seeing the mindset that I had [then], to now wanting a career. Now, it is a piece of me that I couldn't imagine my life without."

Members of the National Guard are frequently referred to as citizen-soldiers or a weekend warriors, meaning they have full-time civilian jobs and serve part-time in the military. Nordquist is a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Emergency Room (ER) at two local hospitals. However, her journey into nursing did not start there; it started while she worked on a Medical Oncology Unit. A few years later she moved onto the ER, which was something she had always wanted to do after her deployment to Iraq in 2006.

Nordquist felt comfortable and enjoyed the ER, so it was difficult when three of her leaders encouraged her to move on to the ICU. However, she knew that when one door closes, others often open.

"I never saw myself going to the ICU, I was comfortable where I was at in the ER. All three of the leaders said it was time to move on," Nordquist said as she reflected on this time. "I really trust that they have lead me down the path before and they know which direction that I need to go. I just needed that push out of my confront zone to enter a zone that I was not comfortable."

U.S. Air Force (ret.) Lt. Col. JoEllen Evavold has had the honor of watching Nordquist grow both in the military and in the civilian world. They both deployed together, first to help in the evacuation after Hurricane Katrina, then to Balad Air Base, Iraq, and now they work together at a local hospital. Evavold saw that Nordquist could do more.

"I believed she could impact more people with deeper meaning with her cares and values in an ICU setting. Amy is competent in tasks and complex critical thinking, but more importantly, Amy can look into a patient's eyes and connect with a personal touch," said Evavold. "Her faith and values will support her and her patients' families with mutual fulfillment in the chaos of an ICU."

In addition to the support she provides to patients, Nordquist also makes a lasting impact in her community by volunteering. One group she is best known for volunteering with is the Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show Team. She can usually be spotted performing impressive aerial stunts or at the top of a pyramid formation proudly waving the American flag. But one particular thing stands out: her love for this country. This is why Nordquist was so adamant about dedicating the show, one August night, to the men and women of the U.S. military so that all the proceeds could go to the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund.

"It is more than a show; it is a time to honor all those that are currently serving, have served, and most importantly, honoring those that have given their all," said Nordquist. "All those mentioned above have a legacy they are leaving behind in their journey. My heart bursts to be able to serve all them."

At the heart and soul of Capt. Amy Nordquist is the need to serve. She gives back to the military by recognizing other Airmen for their hard work, by volunteering for extra training that ultimately helps her fellow Airmen, and by being the warm, smiling face, greeting Airmen at the Immunization Clinic check-in window. She gives back to her community by organizing events that highlight and recognize the military in the community.

When asked what thoughts she wanted to pass on to the future generations, Nordquist responded, "Remember, it's not all about the journey. More importantly, it's about the legacy you leave behind on that journey."

June 3, 2016
by Tech Sgt. Amy Lovgren
133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs



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Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



Minnesota Guardsmen participate in Aurora 17 exercise in Sweden

Posted: 2017-09-25  09:06 AM
Aurora 17 SKOVDE, Sweden - Minnesota National Guard Soldiers from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor traveled overseas in mid-Sept. 2017 to take part in a cooperative, national defense training exercise with allied countries.

"The education and experience these Soldiers will receive is invaluable," said Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Hybben, 1-194th command sergeant major. "Our Soldiers will have operated in joint forces operations with fire and maneuver, which will allow for best practices to be shared and used in the future. They will have a better understanding of other military forces and how they operate not only strengthening our force but everyone involved."

The Brainerd-based battalion spearheaded the mission to Sweden as the most recent element of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division to have taken part in joint international training missions throughout Europe since early 2017.



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