Minnesota Guard leader visits Duluth ArmoryMinnesota National Guard Adjutant General Richard C. Nash and his staff visited Duluth on Wednesday to meet with local Guard members, families, community leaders and support organizations — to thank them for their support and to hear their concerns.
By: Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune
Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Richard C. Nash and his staff visited Duluth on Wednesday to meet with local Guard members, families, community leaders and support organizations — to thank them for their support and to hear their concerns.
“I think it is really an honor for him to come and listen to us. It shows a lot of his concern for the families and people left behind,” said Jenny Shogren, whose son, Zachary, 23, is deployed in Kuwait with the Minnesota Army National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry.
Shogren was among a small group of family members who met Nash during a lunch at the Duluth National Guard Armory.
“I want to thank you for the support of soldiers who are down range,” Nash told the group. “Whether you like it or not, you are part of history.”
Nash, who enlisted in the infantry in 1972, became the state’s adjutant general Nov. 1. In the position, he is responsible for more than 13,000 Guard soldiers, airmen and women.
“Part of my mission was to get out and visit all the battalion-sized armories,” he said.
Wednesday’s daylong visit to Duluth was the ninth such visit Nash and his staff have made. The visits include town hall-style meetings with Guard members to hear their concerns. They meet with leaders of the religious, college, business and veteran communities to discuss the needs — and how to better meet the needs — of Guard members and their families.
“The general is very thoughtful,” said Lt. Col. Rick Schute, brigade officer in charge. “He’s very concerned with ensuring that the soldiers in his formation have the resources to be ready to support their local command, the state and the nation.”
Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 25,000 Minnesota National Guard members have deployed. Currently, 2,648 are deployed — the largest deployment since World War II.
During their armory visits, Nash and his staff also meet with family assistance groups, Blue Star Mother chapters and family members.
“We try to make sure the people know where to turn” for help, Nash said, noting that Minnesota has a lot of assistance available for troops and their families.
Sara Lund, a member of the Lake Superior Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, was included in Wednesday’s event. Blue Star Mothers is an organization of women who have children serving or who have served in the armed forces.
“I’m glad to be included and find out more about the needs of our service members and their families during deployment,” Lund said.