Minnesota National Guard
Hundreds of mourners paid their final respects on Friday to a proud Army officer and devoted husband and dad. At 38, Lt. Col. Mark Weber was on the fast track for a successful military career. But the story of his unexpected journey would reach far beyond the halls of the Pentagon. “He was a scholar. He was just a joy to be around, very inspirational,” says Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, spokesperson for the Minnesota National Guard.
The worrying is over for dozens of Minnesota families. Their loved ones with the Minnesota National Guard returned home Tuesday after spending nearly a year in Afghanistan. As they were saving lives overseas, new lives were beginning in some of their own homes.
More than 100 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard are getting ready for deployment to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Officials said 103 soldiers will participate in a farewell ceremony at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood.
Friends and family are mourning the death of a beloved soldier, author and family man as Lt. Col. Mark Weber died Thursday after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 41 years old.
At the height of his military career in 2010, Lt. Col. Mark Weber was forced to face a different kind of life and death battle. He was diagnosed with cancer and given just months to live. “Doctors have told me they can’t understand how I’m still alive. I have damage to my liver that is incomprehensible,” Weber said. That was November of last year, just before Weber’s book was self-published. “Tell My Sons: A Father’s Last Letters” sold 10,000 copies in three months.
Minnesota National Guard Sgt. Charles Freese is looking at a simulation of a map of Baghdad on a computer screen in a brand-new building in Minnesota. “Our mission here is just to fly along the route,” he said. “We’re looking for anything that looks suspicious. We’ve been tasked to basically make sure there aren’t any IEDs or unfriendly troops in the area.”
The Minneapolis Police Department has named the officer who was driving the SUV involved in a collision last week in Uptown that killed a 24-year-old motorcyclist and injured his passenger.
Firefighters in Minnesota and Wisconsin are battling several wildfires Wednesday that are taking over towns and destroying structures. As of Tuesday night, at least 25 wildfires had broken out in Minnesota Some of the biggest are in Red Lake, Park Rapids, Menagha and across the border in Wisconsin.
Crews from the Minnesota National Guard are helping to suppress a wildfire near the northwestern Minnesota town of Menahga. Army Maj. Bruce A. Kraemer says 22 soldiers are on active duty Wednesday to help fight the fire, including air crews and support teams.
More than a hundred Minnesota National Guard Soldiers said goodbye to their families.
Gov. Mark Dayton will make a quick trip to Norway next weekend to recognize Minnesota’s 40-year-old troop exchange with the Scandinavian country.
The women who make up 16 percent of the Minnesota National Guard are waiting to see if they’ll be assigned to combat units.
A Twin Cities soldier and his wife are preparing for the President’s Inaugural Ball. Staff Sgt. Dan Westby is one of only two Minnesota soldiers invited to Washington D.C. for the event.
Staff Sgt. Dan Westby and his wife have been invited to the President’s Inaugural Ball, but tight finances have the once-in-a-lifetime trip in limbo.
Two Minnesota National Guard units have received awards for their exceptional service in the Air Force.