It was a somber day for family and friends of members of the Minnesota Army National Guard. On a day where Americans remember fallen military men and women, they were preparing to say goodbye to soldiers leaving for Iraq.
Thousands of soldiers from across the state are preparing for a yearlong deployment to Iraq. A total of 2,400 members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, known as the Red Bulls, will head overseas in support of Operation New Dawn. Deployment ceremonies are planned over the coming weeks.
A number of deployment ceremonies will be held throughout Minnesota to honor members of a 34th Red Bull Infantry Division brigade that’s heading to Iraq.
In May, 2,400 Minnesota National Guard members will begin preparations to be deployed to Iraq and Kuwait.
Eighty Minnesota National Guard members will leave for a year-long deployment Sunday morning. A send-off ceremony was held at the Armory for the 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion.
On a recent training day at Camp Ripley, near Little Falls, the frigid morning air whips into a Humvee through an open hatch. Pfc. Timothy Duel, 29, stands in the rotating gunner turret.
Brig. General David Elicerio succeeds Maj. General Richard Nash