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Minnesota National Guard
Red Bulls reunite with loved ones after peacekeeping mission

2-135 return BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Bloomington Army National Guard Armory was lined with dozens of family and friends, and some dogs, as they awaited the long-anticipated arrival of their Soldiers with welcome home signs, flowers and cameras on June 7, 2017.

After a nine-month peacekeeping mission to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, more than 200 Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment arrived back to Minnesota.

Signs reading "I could wait forever, but 333 days is enough" and "We're happy you're home!" lined the sidewalk outside of the armory. The family of Staff Sgt. Andrew Hardin, the supply sergeant for B Co., 2-135th Infantry Battalion, waited nervously with a big welcome home banner and the anticipation of reuniting with him after the deployment.

"I'm super excited," said Jasmine Botz, Hardin's girlfriend. "I'm happy he's back home with our family."

Hardin echoed this with a big smile and saying, "I'm very excited to be home."

Also waiting for the Soldiers to arrive was a special dog named Waldo, who was brought to the US from Egypt by 1st Lt. Garith Scherck. Waldo was one of several dogs who the Soldiers befriended overseas, rescued and had brought back to the U.S.

While deployed in support of the Multinational Force and Observers mission, the southern Minnesota "Red Bull" units provided force protection, served as a quick reaction force and contributed to enforcing the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

June 7, 2017
by Sgt. Sebastian Nemec
Minnesota National Guard 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."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

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."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



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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