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Minnesota National Guard
Visiting Troops at Walter Reed

Three of the four Minnesota National Guard Soldiers currently hospitalized or in outpatient care at Walter Reed Medical Center were visited by Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito March 14 during his trip to Washington DC

Maj. Gen. Shellito was joined on his visit to the troops by Mr Patrick Klinger, Marketing Director for the Minnesota Twins, Mr Brian Peterson, Media Relations Director of Fox Sport Net North
The Three Soldiers who were visited by the party are at Walter Reed recovering from injuries received while in Iraq

The party met with Sgt Anthony Larson, of St Cloud, a member of Co B, 434th Main Support Battalion and Sgt Darrell "JR" Salzman, of Menomonie, Wisc, a member of Co A, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry in the lobby of the main building at Walter Reed Medical Center Both of the Soldiers have underwent amputations of limbs Sgt Larson lost his lower right leg and Sgt Salzman lost the lower part of his right arm

Both of the Soldiers are in very high sprits and are making outstanding recoveries They have even taken to some new hobbies such as skiing and scuba diving

The other Soldier the party had the opportunity to visit was Sgt John Kriesel, of Cottage Grove, a member of Co B, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Sgt Kriesel is currently an inpatient at the hospital

Sgt Kriesel enjoyed visiting with Mr Klinger because he is a huge Twins fan His loyalty to the Twins was indicated by his Johan Santana poster which hangs right above his bed

The visit to Walter Reed was very meaningful to Mr Klinger and Mr Peterson Both men are dedicated supporters of the Minnesota National Guard and were humbled by the vigor for life they saw in the three Soldiers

"It was a great honor to visit the Soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center today," said Klinger "I was amazed by their resilience and amazing attitude despite the loss of limbs and other injuries - physical and emotional Every day I work with professional athletes that are idolized But my idols are those incredibly brave young men and women that have sacrificed so much"

Both the Minnesota Twins and FSN North look forward to more ways of showing there support for military members and their families in the upcoming season

By Staff Sgt Kenneth Toole

NorthStar GUARD Online: 3/14/07
Soldiers receive visit at Walter Reed Medical Center photo gallery

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