/*********************************************** * 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 ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Iraq veterans return home: Now, a 'new normal'

Relieved but restrained, a Minnesota Soldier returns from Iraq First, he'll fish Then, he'll begin the long task of learning how, and how much, the war has changed his life

Sgt. 1st Class Jim Kallberg and Sgt Maj Cindy Kallberg, both of Rosemount, embrace moments after Kallberg and other Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery got of a bus in New Ulm, Minn, on Monday, July 23, 2007 They returned from Iraq a week earlier (Ben Garvin, Pioneer Press) (Ben Garvin)

With a loud, last command - "HHB, DISMISSED!" - and an even louder cheer Monday afternoon, Sgt. 1st Class Jim Kallberg and his unit were released from their 22-month deployment that included 16 months in Iraq

Kallberg, of the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, had a one-word reaction to the command: "Relief"

The Rosemount man was one of the 2,600 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers who served in Iraq and have returned to the United States in the past few weeks Most, like Kallberg, have been delivered to their families

Their Iraq tour was the longest of any US military unit during the war

The returning veterans also have a long road ahead - the road to finding what one commander calls a "new normal"

As they've been told over and over, they must adjust to how their Iraq experience changed them

They heard a similar message Monday

"We hope that you will readjust quickly and happily It won't be easy," New Ulm Mayor Joel Albrecht, who served as a specialist in the Army at the end of the Korean War, said during the unit's welcome-home ceremony "Adjust well We love you, and I wish I could hug each one of you"

Albrecht, the only civilian invited to speak at the brief ceremony, said later that the changes - in the Soldiers and at home - may be subtle, but, built up over time, they can be jarring

On Monday, more than 100 Soldiers were reunited with their families on the hot, sticky Brown County Fairgrounds Many of the Soldiers and many more of the families were tearful and shouting with glee

Not Kallberg He was happy but subdued

He doesn't think he came back a new or different man

"I guess I don't really feel changed," he said

And if he has changed, his wife, Cindy Kallberg, will get him back into line, he joked

Cindy, a sergeant major in the Minnesota National Guard, also will be watching for specific changes

Already, she and her daughter, Kyrie Wilson, 16, have made a pact to make sure Jim isn't in the house alone

"Not to baby-sit him," Cindy said last week But to keep an eye on him

When he was in Iraq, Jim received a combat action badge - and those who've been deep enough in the action to receive that honor are more at risk for traumatic brain injuries, Cindy said Such injuries often are hidden for months and only show themselves after Soldiers return home

Such issues weren't at the front of Jim's mind Monday

"I want to go on a vacation Someplace that's not a desert," he said

He is already getting at least part of that wish

Jim and Cindy planned to stay Tuesday night at a hotel in New Ulm

The plan allows Jim, who traveled more than three hours Monday from a Wisconsin army base to New Ulm, and more than 16 hours last week from Iraq to Wisconsin, to stay put for a bit

It also allows Jim and Cindy, who've been in the same place at the same time for about two months in the past four years, because they've both been deployed, a little time alone

This weekend, even more of Jim's vacation wish will come true He'll be on a lake on a family fishing trip

The family gathering is, in part, a welcome-back celebration and, in part, a goodbye

Jeff Kallberg, Jim's brother, is a staff sergeant in the Air Force

As he decorated his brother's house to welcome Jim back from Iraq, Jeff said he is about to be deployed himself

He is headed, he said, "somewhere in the Middle East"

Pioneer Press
Article Launched: 07/24/2007 12:01:00 AM CDT

Rachel E Stassen-Berger can be reached at rstassen-berger@pioneerpress.com IRAQ COVERAGE INSIDE

Article Source:

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota State Fair Military Appreciation Day to recognize women veterans

Posted: 2018-08-27  12:34 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The Minnesota State Fair's eighth annual Military Appreciation Day will take place Tuesday, August 28, and provide an educational opportunity for all fairgoers to learn about Minnesota's military community. This year's theme is honoring Minnesota's women veterans.

"The Minnesota State Fair is a great opportunity to bring our community together to show appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our state's veterans," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, The Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "This year, I am proud to stand with women veterans as we highlight their stories and contributions to our armed forces."

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Article archive