/*********************************************** * 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

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."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

148th Fighter Wing hosts STEM program for Duluth-area students

Posted: 2018-06-05  08:52 AM
Starbase Duluth DULUTH, Minn. - Dozens of community and industry leaders passionate about helping children become more engaged in science, technology, engineering and math gathered at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn., May 24, 2018, to see what STARBASE Minnesota Duluth is doing for young students in the area.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense youth program that engages students in STEM studies. The program began in 1991, and STARBASE Minnesota was founded in 1993 in St. Paul, which expanded to Duluth in July 2017.

Currently, the school program is open to fifth-grade students, said Charity S. Rupp, the director of STARBASE Minnesota Duluth. The summer camp will serve students in 4-6th grade. Eventually, she hopes the program will expand into STARBASE 2.0 to serve middle school students as an after school program during the academic school year.

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."

Article archive