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Minnesota National Guard
1-888-LINKVET Links Vets to Services

The toll-free customer service line is the first of its kind in the nation and will provide information referrals, immediate crisis intervention and psychological counseling 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-LINKVET (546-5838) The new line is up-and-running as of today

"Our goal is to make Minnesota the best state for veterans to live," Governor Pawlenty said "Understanding and navigating the many programs and services provided by state, federal and local governments can be discouraging The Veterans Linkage Line will connect veterans and their family members with information on veterans' benefits, health care and reintegration It's another way for us to make sure we thank and support those who serve our country"

LinkVet will be answered by trained staff at the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) and Crisis Connection, a Twin Cities based non-profit mental health telephone counseling service MDVA staff, who are veterans themselves, will manage the lines Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Crisis Connection social workers will field all crisis calls during business hours, and all calls after hours, on weekends and holidays

LinkVet was developed by the Governor's Yellow Ribbon Task Force Crisis Line Workgroup This group met during the spring of 2007 and included representatives from several state agencies, the National Guard and non-profit veteran services providers

After discovering there were several toll-free lines for crisis intervention and suicide prevention for returning Soldiers and veterans, and that United Way's 211 referral line is not cell phone accessible, the workgroup proposed a statewide one-stop call line for veterans similar to the Senior Linkage and Disability Linkage lines

Veterans who call LinkVet and need to be transferred to someone other than a MDVA staff member will be connected in a three-way call to the necessary resources MDVA staff will remain on the line with the caller until the veteran's issue has been successfully resolved

Revation, the company that has supplied the software for Senior Linkage and Disability Linkage lines, has agreed to provide a one-year free trial of the Veterans Linkage Line software After the first year, there will be no additional hardware required and approximately $004 per minute operating costs

Last year, MDVA launched wwwminnesotaveteranorg, a one-stop Web site for information about education, medical, employment, and other benefits Information concerning military retirement, state and federal benefits, as well as education and pending legislation are included on the site Governor Pawlenty proposed the Veterans One Stop Website as part of his 2006 military and veterans support legislative package

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Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.

Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.

Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."

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.

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