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Minnesota National Guard
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, beyond Minnesota

There's more reward than risk in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program Act that Rep John Kline introduced in the US House on Tuesday But there is some risk

The reward: If it passes Congress, National Guard Soldiers returning from war zones will get the benefit of a smart, practical, on-point Minnesota effort to help them reintegrate in their communities The Minnesota National Guard leaders - among them Major Gen Larry Shellito and Chaplain (Maj) John Morris - who created the program here will see their tireless work on behalf of Soldiers, families and communities echo nationwide The investment will pay off for generations

Our current wars are different from others, in that they rely so heavily on National Guard and reserve Soldiers to supplement those who were on active duty Hundreds of thousands of National Guard Soldiers have been called to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan Many have had long and/or multiple deployments They have essentially left civilian life one day, deployed to war, and then returned to civilian life suddenly when their deployments are over Many are older and perhaps more thoroughly enmeshed in their civilian communities than Soldiers in earlier wars Because they return so abruptly to civilian life, Guard and reserve Soldiers don't have access to the same decompression apparatus that active-duty Soldiers have, nor the wider group of peers who understand their experience because they've lived it They go from dodging bullets and improvised explosive devices one week to waiting at red lights the next

For the overwhelming majority of American citizens who have no personal experience whatsoever with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this transition is difficult to even imagine Most Soldiers make the transition well - but that doesn't mean it's not difficult, nor that we shouldn't apply what we've learned about helping them through the transition It takes time, and community involvement

The program Kline's bill provides for is based on the successful "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" reintegration effort in Minnesota and draws from similar efforts elsewhere It would, among other things:

Establish an Office for Reintegration Programs at the National Guard Bureau that would coordinate with state Guard organizations to help Soldiers, their families and communities

Provide for a clearinghouse to collect, analyze and share lessons learned from around the country

Provide information and layers of support for Soldiers, their families and communities through the four phases of the deployment cycle: pre-deployment, deployment, demobilization, post-deployment All US House members from Minnesota have signed on as co-sponsors

Rep Keith Ellison, for example, said he was "very grateful to - and supportive of - our returning National Guard veterans We should support their return to our communities This bill brings yet another common-sense Minnesota solution to an American challenge"

We agree, and we're grateful to Kline for raising the profile - and deepening the support - of Minnesotans' effort to bring lessons learned and whole communities to bear on the successful reintegration of Soldiers We also believe it's important to account fully for the price of war, and this program helps

Which brings us to the risk we cited above Because so few Americans have personal connections to these wars, it's easy to imagine that dealing with their effects is somebody else's job Creation of a more formal, federally funded and organized reintegration program could create the illusion that government has all the bases covered

It doesn't

As Chaplain Morris reminds us often, it take whole communities - friends, families, congregations, employers, civic organizations and more - to get the job done right

Pioneer Press
May 1, 2005
Source: http://www.twincities.com



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Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



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.



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