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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Twins Military Appreciation Day

The Minnesota Twins' Military Appreciation Day has evolved The Twins not only showed their own appreciation to Service members May 27 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, they also incorporated the military directly into the game on several fronts

The Minnesota National Guard was the thickest presence of all the services, as all of the Guard armories and wings are in "Twins Territory" However, the Twins went out of their way to incorporate other services from the present and past wars of our nation

The 34th Infantry Division Band Rock Combo, "The Red Devils," played several tunes during the pre-game Staff Sgt Shawn Lidberg, Staff Sgt Josh Christianson, Staff Sgt Anthony Hunter, Staff Sgt Donald Pashby, and Sgt Brian Hitchcock rocked the Metrodome with classics like James Brown's "I Feel Good"

Also, members of the 34th Infantry Division Band, Sgt Jennifer Kruze and Sgt Katherine Gallagher sang the National Anthem to get the game started Minnesota Army and Air Reserve Soldiers and Airmen displayed the national and state colors, while the two Army National Guard sergeants sang the anthem

Soldiers serving overseas sent cheers for the home-team Twins and greetings to their families via a satellite connection Maj Barb O'Reilly, 147th Personnel Services Battalion sent greetings from Afghanistan and Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Lease Co E, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry sent greetings from Iraq

"I miss and love you guys a lot, and I can't wait to get back home, and I'm coming home soon," said Sgt. 1st Class Lease to his family

However, Lease also took the opportunity show his dedication to the Twins, when he removed his ACU blouse to reveal a military undershirt with the Minnesota Twins' "TC" logo painted on the front

"I am a believer! Twins, you've got a World Series in you this year!" exclaimed Lease Sgt. 1st Class Lease's son, Austin threw out the ceremonial first pitch after the greeting from his father

The Twins also took time to show respect to those who have served and came back, as well as those who paid the ultimate sacrifice A long moment of silence was observed by the crowd, as the names of every Service member killed in combat during the last year were read

The Commander of the 34th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Rick Erlandson was the one who made the Twins-Military interaction a complete and official partnership Maj. Gen. Erlandson pinned a Purple Heart on Sgt Gary Krutke, 34th Military Police Company with Minnesota members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart present on the field to witness The solidifying factor in the partnership, however, was when Maj. Gen. Erlandson promoted Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire to the rank of Admiral

By Cpl Joe Roos
May 27, 2007
View the Twins Armed Forces Day photo gallery

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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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