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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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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."

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