Monday, July 16, 2007

"See you soon" and "Welcome Home"

Governor Pawlenty, as the Commander in Chief of the Minnesota National Guard has the opportunity to do two things that should make all of us very proud this week.

First, Governor Pawlenty will witness the National Guard 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry deployment as they are headed to Kosovo on a peacekeeping mission.

Second, he will blessed to welcome home 200 members of our National Guard as they return from Iraq.

From a story on the deployment:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty praised the soldiers for stepping up and serving.

"You have who are raising their hand who will say 'I will go be a peacemaker. I will step into the middle of this fight and say you need to stay apart until things can cool down and we can get a better handle on it,'" said Pawlenty.

For some of these soldiers, like 1st Sgt. Tom Malecha, this is the second deployment to Kosovo within the past five years.

"It's very rewarding. Cause we're creating history. It's the future of that country that's at stake," said Malecha.

Whether they are coming or going, these are America's finest. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they defend our freedoms and welcome them home with the honor and dignity they have earned.

Here is the information on the deployments and welcome home.

July 16. GOVERNOR SPEAKS _ Gov. Pawlenty speaks at deployment ceremonies for Minnesota National guard troops in Albert Lea (10 a.m.), Mankato (2 p.m.) and St. Paul (6 p.m.)

Locations: Albert Lea National Guard Armory, 410 Prospect Ave., Albert Lea; Mankato National Guard Armory, 100 Martin Luther King Dr., Mankato; Historic Fort Snelling Visitors Center, 200 Tower Ave., St. Paul.

Contact: Brian McClung, XXX-XXX-XXXX


July 17. 8 a.m. PAWLENTY WELCOMES _ Gov. Pawlenty welcomes home about 200 returning members of Minnesota National Guard. Media planning to cover must register in advance by e-mailing Lt. Col. Kevin Olson at by 3 p.m. Monday, July 16. All media must arrive at front gate of Volk Field by 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Location: Volk Field, 100 Independence Dr., Camp Douglas, Wis.

Contact: Brian McClung, XXX-XXX-XXXX

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