| Veteran service officers will meet returning troops
Robby Robinson, Washington County’s Veterans Services Officer, will again be part of a contingent of veterans services officers from around the state who will meet returning Minnesota National Guard troops after overseas deployment and work with them to smooth their re-integration.
This time, the program will be later in the spring, welcoming troops to Camp Shelby, MS.
Last fall, the Minnesota Association of County Veterans Services Officers aided in the re-integration of about 90 National Guard members from Company B 2-211/ Many of them have Washington County connections, but members are from all over Minnesota and some are from other states.
County veterans services officers from around the state will travel to Mississippi to start the demobilization and re-integration process for the new wave of returning troops.
Part of the process will be to enroll troops in the Veterans Administration health care program, and to start the process for any veteran who will qualify for Veterans Administration benefits.
Linking returning troops to their home county veterans services officer will also be key.
The spring contingent will be larger than the one that returned in November, and will arrive in groups over the course of the re-integration process. The benefit of meeting the troops as they arrive at the fort allows the service officers to meet one-on-one with them, so each may be asked personally, “What are your biggest concerns coming back,” Robinson said, and what can be done to help alleviate those concerns.
The veterans services officers must also realize that the troops will simply want to be home, to be reunited with loved ones, Robinson said. “When you’ve been gone more than a year, it’s quite a feeling when you are back here and need to readjust to family life,” he said. It is always challenging when one member of the household has been carrying the whole load, to have a second person re-enter the picture.
Another challenge is looking for work, for those who will not be returning to a former job. And after that, Robinson said he is looking forward to visiting with the returning troops to see what else it is that they need. It will be similar to the November program, but on a much larger scale, he said.
Robinson and Dale Cotch, another Veterans Services Officer, conduct office hours in the county service centers in Cottage Grove and Forest Lake, as well as in the Government Center in Stillwater.
Office hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the county Government Center in Stillwater; 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays in Cottage Grove, call 651-430-6895 for appointments; and 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Mondays and Wednesdays in Forest Lake, call 651-430-6578 for appointments.
Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair
Posted: 2015-08-28 03:36 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2015
The fifth annual Military Appreciation Day at the Minnesota State Fair presented by USAA on Sept. 1st will recognize veterans and provide an educational opportunity for all fair goers to learn about Minnesota's military community.
"A special addition this year is a morning Veteran Recognition Program just before the flag officially raises on the day at the fair," said Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard adjutant general.
Distinguished Visitors Tour Vigilant Guard Exercise
Posted: 2015-08-28 03:30 PM
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Distinguished visitors toured the Minnesota Vigilant Guard 2015 exercise on Tuesday. The group was comprised of visiting military officials, emergency response leaders, and government officials.
Their purpose, to gain insight on how the Minnesota National Guard coordinates with military, federal, state, and civilian agencies during emergencies and disasters.
148th Fighter Wing simulates Emergency Family Assistance Center
Posted: 2015-08-28 03:09 PM
DULUTH, Minn. -- The 148th Fighter Wing Emergency Family Assistance Center was activated in response to the Vigilant Guard 2015 exercise Aug. 24, 2015, as the Minnesota National Guard continued to assist local authorities around the northeastern part of the state in response to a series of simulated weather-related disasters.
"Emergencies happen, we want to make sure that military families have the information and assistance they need," stated Jennifer Kuhlman, 148th Fighter Wing Airman and family readiness program manager and EFAC coordinator.
National Guard unit participates in Welcome Home Ceremony Saturday
Posted: 2015-08-28 11:35 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. - Forty-two Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard's 204th Area Support Medical Company are scheduled for a welcome home ceremony Saturday at Century College, in White Bear Lake, Minn. after a nine-month deployment to Egypt.
"Our soldiers provided medical support for the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), which is comprised of more than 1,600 service members from 12 nations," said Army Cpt. Jonathan Vang, 204th Area Support Medical Company commander.