MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Members of the Minnesota National Guard were fired upon during a drive-by shooting in Minneapolis early Sunday morning, with two guardsmen suffering minor injuries.

About 3,000 citizen soldiers and airmen are activated as part of Operation Safety Net. Members of the Minnesota National Guard are our neighbors and friends. These citizen soldiers, who left their full-time jobs and families during the mission, realize the weight of the time we’re in.

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(credit: CBS)

“We are aware that everyone is feeling a lot of different types of ways,” Sgt. Justin Haynes said.

From community “thank yous” to vulgar language, they’re hearing it all. These soldiers are assigned to corridors in Minneapolis for the duration of the Derek Chauvin trial.

“We’re just there to support the community, we’re there to show that we’re here to protect you, we’re here to protect the city and making sure that nothing wrong happens,” Pfc. Marisa Martinez said.

During the operation, members of their brigade came under fire early Sunday morning. Police say a light-colored SUV shot at a security team at Broadway and Penn avenues.

(credit: Minnesota National Guard)

“One of the bullets penetrated the Humvee with soldiers inside of it,” Cmdr. Sgt. Maj. Robert Harris said.

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Harris said no one was seriously injured. After the incident, they met to talk about what happened.

“We had what the chaplain calls a ‘critical incident debrief,'” Harris said. “Our commander talked to them and, you know, told them that, you know, they’re doing a bang-up job.”

They say they’re aware of the danger during this tumultuous time, and the mission for these Minnesotans continues.

“All we can do is kind of stand strong while we’re here,” Haynes said. “It is surreal because I don’t expect to get shot at in uniform protecting my streets, on my streets that I come home to.”

(credit: CBS)

They say the positive feedback outweighs the negative, and that’s their focus.

“Just being welcomed into the neighborhood, them telling us that they really appreciate us … it makes everything that we do just completely worth it,” Martinez said.

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The community can expect to see National Guard presence around Minneapolis during closing arguments in the Chauvin trial, through deliberations and the verdict.

Jennifer Mayerle