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Minnesota National Guard
Kline to push for taking Minnesota Guard program national

MINNEAPOLIS- A Minnesota program that helps National Guard members reintegrate into American life after they return home from war would go national under legislation US Rep John Kline plans to introduce early next week

Officials from about 19 states visited Minnesota on Friday to learn about its "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" program, said Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, Minnesota's adjutant general It has already served 2,000 Minnesota Guard members, plus their families, in 115 communities, and is gearing up for over 3,000 members due to return home this summer

Kline, a retired Marine and Vietnam veteran, said service members who return from Iraq and Afghanistan are under "some pretty heavy stresses" Marriages and other family relationships come under strain, and some even commit suicide, he said

"We need to do something about that reintegration It's pretty tough when you come home after having been gone for a year or more," Kline said in a conference call with reporters Friday

"Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" helps returning Guard members get the help they need to return to normal life as quickly as possible, assisting them with family issues, medical issues and help with going back to school

Active duty service members get those services at their home bases stateside, but reservists scatter when they return home, said Kline, R-Minn

Kline said federal legislation is needed because Minnesota had to get waivers from Defense Department policies that require the Guard to leave members alone for 90 days after they return home He said it's important to be able to bring veterans in at 30 and 60 days as well to make sure they're getting the help they need

Former Sen Mark Dayton, a Democrat, was able to secure $3 million in stopgap funding just for Minnesota last year, Shellito said, but he and Kline said more will needed to keep it going here and expand the program coast to coast

Kline said it's still being determined how much it would cost, but he's rushing to try to get the program included in an upcoming defense authorization bill

"It is a small price to pay for this tremendous service that we need to provide," he said

By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press Writer

Article source: http://www.twincities.com/searchresults/ci_5714632#recent_comm

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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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