There was a welcome home ceremony Friday for more than 20 Minnesota soldiers.
After years of living in a war-torn country, an Iraqi man is starting a new life in Minnesota with the help of some American soldiers he met overseas. Twelve days ago, Khalid, known by American soldiers as “Phillip,” arrived in the Twin Cities. “Twelve days without any check points. Nobody asks me where I’m going, you know, all the security stuff. And you feel safe,” Khalid said. “The first three, four days [it] was exciting. First time to see snow, you know. All this nice weather, but now, I feel cold.”
There are a lot of good stories this time of year about people giving back. But the greatest gift this holiday season may be what Twin Cities war veteran Paul Braun gave to an Iraqi man he met while overseas. The man, known as Phillip, put his life on the line to serve as an interpreter for Braun and his fellow soldiers. Braun first met Phillip, whose real name is Khalid, when he was assigned to the 34th Military Police company in Basra, Iraq in 2009.
A wounded Minnesota soldier is being recognized with a very special gift. Justin Utecht was given the keys to a house in Minnetonka on Friday. “It’s absolutely gorgeous in there,” Utecht said. “For a single guy it’s pretty good.” U.S. Bank, Freedom Alliance and Five Brothers Default Management Solutions partnered together to donate the home as a kickoff to Veterans Day weekend. Utecht served in Iraq from 2006 to 2008, and has struggled adjusting to life back at home due to post-traumatic stress disorder and migraines.
Actor Gary Sinise is headed to Minneapolis this weekend to help a local wounded veteran raise money to build a new home. He is in the Twin Cities to help Corporal Mark Litynski, who lost both of his legs and an arm in an IED blast.
The Fourth of July weekend is a time to give thanks to the men and women serving our country. No one knows that better than a family from Holdingford. Last year, while Christine Schreiner’s son, Lance Cpl. Andrew Schreiner, was serving in Afghanistan, she started a message board for him on her horse barn. That giant message board was a popular stop before our story aired last July. And the family says afterwards, it really took off.
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.
Signa Saunders, of Brainerd, Minn., boarded a ship for France in 1918 alongside soldiers headed into battle with the goal of doling out donuts for those in the line of fire. She recalled in her memoir, “Soldiers, Sinkers and Pie,” what it was like to be on board.
Memorial Day is especially meaningful for the families, friends and comrades left behind. While Veterans today are reflecting on lives lost during combat, they are also thinking of the families left without loved ones and the pain they endure every day.Their war experiences were different. Landon Steele was a combat medic in Iraq. Chuck Sasse was a flight engineer in World War II. But the emptiness they carry from the loss of their comrades is the same.
One-hundred-twenty members of the Minnesota National Guard are returning from their year-long deployment to Afghanistan, where they trained and mentored soldiers in the Afghan National Army.
Spending time on a frozen lake is a rite of passage for many of Minnesotans. But for military families, that tradition got a unique twist Saturday as technology connected families to ice fishing.
There’s a send-off Wednesday afternoon for nearly two dozen Minnesota soldiers that are heading to Afghanistan.
The women who make up 16 percent of the Minnesota National Guard are waiting to see if they’ll be assigned to combat units.
Starting on Veteran’s Day, an American retailer says it will hire more than 100,000 returning veterans in the next five years.
The final wave of soldiers from the 147th Human Resource Company are set to come home on Sunday.