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Minnesota National Guard
A Soldiers insight on serving the U.S. in Iraq

Dominic Thao, a 28-year-old graduate of St Paul Central High School, is on a tank in Iraq serving an extended deployment with the Minnesota National Guard Here are excerpts from a recent e-mail interview with him

Q: You've told family members to take media reports from Iraq "with a grain of salt" How are the media distorting your daily reality?

A: The media tend to sensationalize the violence that occurs in Iraq Don't get me wrong, the violence and danger do exist, though it appears the media are putting a magnifying glass on specific incidents that occur in remote regions of a country the size of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona combined

The general public will often interpret these specific cases as a widespread state of chaos throughout every portion of the country In reality, the violence is isolated and more subtle than portrayed Being a Soldier, I have conducted missions outside the fortified bases My personal encounter with hostile attacks is minimal, contrary to the many perceptions in the US

Q: More than 2,500 Minnesota National Guard troops were expected to be coming home in March to reunite with their families How has the 125-day extension affected your morale and the mood of your fellow Soldiers?

A: It was a great disappointment to be notified of the extension National Guard members are citizen Soldiers, who have a job, a career or business that you tend to set aside from your Soldier's duties Much of that has been put on hold

Q: Why did you join the National Guard and would you do it again?

A: I've always had a keen interest in military service and was always curious about participating The military was an opportunity I passed up after high school Having dabbled in college and the workforce, I felt my life was at a lull The National Guard presented the military service I sought, though it allowed me to retain my civilian goals while serving In addition, there are benefits for my college education -- this service will be financially helpful in my goal to return to finish my college degree

Q: Does your Hmong-American background differentiate you from other US Soldiers?

A:I feel I am already part of the mainstream culture, especially having been born in the US and swallowing everything that American pop culture had offered me As for the difference of my ethnic background, I just see it as a key feature that makes me unique from the many facets of Americans abroad in this country I take pride in my heritage as would an Irish-American, Polish-American or Spanish-American

Curt Brown "¢ 651-298-1542 "¢ curtbrown@startribune.com
May 15, 2007
Source: http://www.startribune.com



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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.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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