/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Soldier in Iraq marries bride in Minn.

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn, - When it came time for a Minnesota National Guardsman to kiss the bride, she was some 6,000 miles away

But that didn't matter Wednesday, as Spc Abraham Rhode and Amanda Hart used video teleconferencing to be joined together as husband and wife
"When we said our vows, that's when we became one," Hart said, trying to hold back her emotion after the short ceremony "It was pretty exciting, overwhelming"

Hart said Rhode was supposed to come home from Iraq this month and help her plan their August wedding But when his deployment got extended - and they learned there was a baby on the way - they decided to exchange vows over a video connection

Nationwide, video teleconferencing has been used to virtually bring Soldiers home, even if just for a moment, to experience life-changing events such as a child's graduation, a birth, or a memorial service Rhode and Hart are among a handful of couples who have opted for long-distance nuptials as the war continues to keep them physically separated

"With our unit being extended over there, a lot of people just decided they didn't want to be single any longer, regardless of how they have to do it," said Phil Stephan, the video operations manager for the Minnesota National Guard

Rhode, 25, is in Tallil, Iraq, with Company E, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry After the nuptials, he said he was happy, but he couldn't wait to see his bride in person

"Honestly, I will be overjoyed to see her," he said "You miss out on a whole bunch of little things I'm missing out on the pregnancy but I'm happy to be here and be serving my country"

Hart called Rhode her "knight in shining armor" who is a thinker by nature She said his calm demeanor balances her outgoing personality

"I know that we will last," she said

On her wedding day, Hart wore a knee-length white skirt, a white blazer and strappy white shoes The 21-year-old carried a mixed bouquet and clutched her father's arm as she walked into a room at the National Guard armory in Inver Grove Heights She continued to hold his arm during the ceremony, as her witness stood to her left, and about a dozen family members and friends sat and watched

She looked at Rhode's image on the video screen He stood in his combat uniform, with his best man at his side and his hands clasped in front of him Every now and then he broke into a huge grin

"Abe and Mandy, I don't know if you could've imagined your day could be quite like this," joked Lt. Col. Joel Severson, the National Guard chaplain who presided over the service

Hart said the wedding wasn't the fairy tale ceremony she had imagined, but she was glad the National Guard helped make it happen The couple plans an in-person ceremony in Florida next summer, and they'll live in Shakopee, Minn, once Rhode returns from Iraq

Stephan, the Guard's video operations manager, said this was the Minnesota National Guard's fourth video teleconference wedding One couple got married a few years ago during the conflict in Kosovo, and two couples tied a long-distance knot last month between Minnesota and Iraq

Stephan said the Guard is also supporting three more upcoming weddings - but those involve groomsmen or relatives who want to participate in the ceremonies but are serving overseas

In cases like this, the National Guard has worked with the county issuing the marriage license to ensure the marriages are legal and the signature of the person overseas is notarized, said Vern Truax, a family readiness coordinator for the Guard

After Rhode and Hart said their vows, the chaplain said: "You may now blow yourselves a long-distance kiss"

They did And Hart turned around and smiled sweetly as she was introduced, for the first time, as Mrs Abraham Rhode

"Hopefully, just a few more months - and hopefully, we'll have a real kiss," she said

By Amy Forliti - The Associated Press
March 29, 2007
http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/03/ap_wedding_iraq_070328/



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

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.



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.



Article archive
 
top