After four months away deployed overseas, some families got to welcome their loved ones over the weekend. Airmen from the 934th Airlift Wing showed some Vikings spirit, waving a flag and arriving aboard two giant C-130 airplanes Sunday afternoon.
Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison says the 700 Minnesota National Guard soldiers being deployed to West Africa to help stop the spread of the deadly Ebola disease deserve more than $5 a day extra in hardship pay.
Nearly 700 Minnesota soldiers are being sent to West Africa to assist the U.S. military’s response to the Ebola virus outbreak. The Minnesota National Guard says the soldiers from the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division will be deployed to Liberia in April after going through training.
They returned home months ago, but dozens of soldiers from a Twin Cities based unit are now getting recognition for their tour of duty overseas. The Army Reserve hosted a Welcome Home Warrior Citizen ceremony in Arden Hills, Minn. for members of the 203rd Transportation Company.
While many of us are making holiday plans, some Americans don’t have that option. Members of the military will again be spending the season in Afghanistan.
More than 140 Minnesota soldiers will spend the holidays with their families. Minnesota National Guard’s 114th Transportation Company was formally welcomed home today at Chisholm High School after spending a year overseas.
An Iraqi man who helped save soldiers’ lives overseas is trying to bring his family to America. American soldiers helped bring Philip here last December, after he served as an interpreter for them during the war.
Fighting continues in Iraq with government forces continuing to try and hold off the advances of Sunni militants. The appearance this weekend of the militant spiritual leader Abu Bakr al – Baghdadi at a mosque in Mosul, despite a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head, is seen as a further sign of how emboldened the rebels have become. Questions are also growing over whether the U.S. should back an effort to replace the current president of Iraq, Nouri Al-Maliki.
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, Phillip arrived in the Twin Cities. He uses the nickname that American soldiers gave him in the interest of protecting his identity.”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.