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Minnesota National Guard
Soldier receives Purple Heart as families talk about war

Last September, Judy Clark received a phone call from her son's first lieutenant in Iraq

"You don't ever want to get that phone call," she said

But her son Kristopher, a specialist in the Scout platoon of the 2nd Battalion 136th Infantry, had asked the lieutenant to call home for him so he could talk to her

Spc Clark's unit was on patrol Sept 2 near Taqaddum when the unit returned to their sniper observation post for the night But an IED had been planted there, and the truck drove directly over the spot when it detonated Spc Clark was in the truck when it happened

"Some shrapnel came through the floor and got me in the foot," said Spc Clark
"It was his last patrol before his mid-term leave," said Clark's mother "Every time I think of Kristopher, I think of how fortunate we are"

The injury put Spc Clark, of Fergus Falls, Minn, in line for a Purple Heart

"Originally I was going to wait to get pinned when the guys came home," said Spc Clark, "but with the extension, I decided that it would be over a year from the injury, and I just wanted it done"

So, with more than a dozen family and friends on hand at the Moorhead Armory, Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, with assistance from Spc Clark's mother and father, pinned the Purple Heart

The pinning ceremony came at the conclusion of a community listening session Maj. Gen. Shellito, along with US Sen Norm Coleman, flew to Moorhead and Hibbing Saturday to hear concerns from citizens and families affected by deployments More than 100 people turned out to share their concerns, and representatives from Family Readiness Groups were present to ask questions about the extension

The delegation said Minnesota's state and federal officials have worked hard to ease the burdens caused by the deployments, but that there's always more to do For example, Gov Tim Pawlenty has been a tireless champion of Minnesota's military families, and former Senator Mark Dayton brought $3 million in federal dollars to Minnesota's reintegration efforts before retiring from the US Senate in 2006

"Senator Klobuchar is in Iraq today, and if she wasn't in Iraq, we'd probably be doing this together," Coleman said of the listening sessions

About 2,600 Soldiers are serving in Iraq with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division and more than 400 Airmen of the 148th Fighter Wing are also currently deployed to the region, many on their second or third rotations

By Spc Thomas Keeler




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Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



Minnesota Nice Extends to Puerto Rico

Posted: 2017-12-08  12:08 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP SANTIAGO, Puerto Rico - It has been more than two months since Hurricane Maria stuck Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of disaster behind it. The island was in dire need of some extra help. More than 230 Air National Guardsmen from 29 states have been deployed to the island and are helping in any way they can.

Eleven of those Airmen are from the Minnesota National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn. and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of St. Paul, Minn., are no exception in their desire to lend a helping hand. They have been at Camp Santiago, Puerto Rico, since before Thanksgiving and will leave around mid-December. Their mission is to feed military and civilian hurricane relief workers, giving them the much-needed fuel to complete their mission throughout the day.



Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



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