MN Guard Leading the Way Home: Read Comments to Soldiers

Updated: 09/16/2011 8:11 PM
Created: 09/12/2011 4:27 PM

It's a crucial mission: leading all remaining American troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. And it's being led by Minnesotans.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Mark Albert and photojournalist Chris Hansen embedded for most of September with the Minnesota National Guard in Iraq and Kuwait. 

Join Mark Albert for a special, live one-hour video web chat with the troops in Iraq and Kuwait at 11 a.m. on

Submit your questions, comments, or tell us about your loved one serving with the Guard overseas, at

Your comments are posted below and comments will be used during Friday's one-hour video web chat.

Click here to see more coverage of Minnesota Guard Leading the Way Home.

Friday 09-16-11 @ 3:00 pm

I wanted to send a hello to our son, Andrew Norgaard, currently in Kuwait.  We love him very much and are very proud. Thanks for your reporting of our troops over there.

Sandi Norgaard

Friday 09-16-11 @ 2:24 pm

just want to send out a big I LOVE YOU DAD !

-Jon Miller

Friday 09-16-11 @ 1:44 pm

My name is Amanda Nelson of Richfield, MN. My husband SPC Garrett Nelson is serving in Kuwait right now with the Red Bulls 1/34th Brigades Special Troops Battalion out of Hutchinson and Redwood Falls, Minnesota. One very important thing he has missed while on deployment was the birth of our first child, a son, his name is Carson. He was born three days after his daddy was sent back to Fort McCoy on July 21st before deploying to Kuwait a few days later. Please pray for my husband while he is stuck in Kuwait until he can return to us and meet his son for the first time.

Friday 09-16-11 @ 12:52 pm

Hi Tyler Dooley My Son, And Kurt Paumen My Nephew, We Love You! We Miss! We Are Thinking Of You Everyday! We Pray For You! We Are Proud Of You! We Are Doing Well! Stay Safe And Strong! We Know You Will! What Joy The Day Will Bring That You Are Back In Our Arms To Congratulate You And Love You For All The Sacrafice And Protection You Served To Us And To The USA! Thank You! Mom (Margie), Amanda, Cass, Owen, Shane, Katie, Dalton, Arianne, Cheyenne!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 12:20 pm

A very special hello to my son, Steven Paquin, D Company at Camp Virginia. Your family loves and misses you! Stay safe! Love always, Mom (Michelle Paquin), and sister, Sami too!!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 12:11 pm

Thank you KSTP for doing  this!  I’ve been watching this morning and it is so fitting that we encourage our troops and show our appreciation.  I’d like to say to SPC Matt Dale how very much I love you and how I am so very proud of you.  Matt is a Medic stationed at Camp Buehring.  Matt and his beautiful wife Sara were married in June of 2010.  He just completed his first year of law school at Hamline University.  These men and women ARE the next greatest generation!

 Ernie Dale

Friday 09-16-11 @ 12:08 pm

I cannot thank you enough for providing news, coverage, pictures, stories and all the wonderful information you provided!!

This is one of the very best news stories to show support to our Soldiers!  The average American NEEDS to be reminded what our country is doing and how important our troops are to everyone.


Friday 09-16-11 @ 12:07 pm

To our son, Andrew Lemieux, B Troop 1-94 CAV -  Andy we love you and miss you and think about you every day!!  We’re counting the days until you are home again in May and you can join us on a pontoon ride across Elbow Lake… Big hugs from us all!!  Love You – Mom, Glen, Kuma & Zazu

 Laurel Chilcote

Angora, MN

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:57 am

Want to say "Hi, you are missed and thanks for serving our country!!!"  to Chris Glassel and all of the troops!!!!  Jane Armstrong-Wick in Minnesota

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:53 am

Hi there!

I know there will be plenty of celebrating once you return home to Minnesota; we can't wait to have you all back.  I'm sure your first day back will be exhausting...but what will you look forward to most on day #2???

Sending you all love and prayers for a safe journey home!  God Bless you for your dedication and sacrifice.

-The Nelson Family, Bloomington MN

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:53 am

Thank you from me and my family for keep our freedom.  I thank God for His promise in Psalms 91 that He sends His angels to protect you and your families.  If there is any special requests for prayer, email me and it’s done!!!

 God bless our service Women and Men,


Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:49 am

My son Lt.Col.Michael Wickman is there.  Did you get a chance to talk to him?  He is stationed in Kuwait..  I didn't see him in your pictures.
Nancy Wickman

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:44 am

Proud shout out to Brandon Frakes, Joe Meyer and Mitch Arnet.  Miss you guys!  -- Happy Birthday in the desert Joe!--   Sending your x-box Brandon.

Laurie Frakes

Thank you KSTP!


Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:44 am

God bless each of you & your families.

You are all in my prayers.
Focus on what's in front of you.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is taking care of everything back home!!!!

All my love!! Cheryl Peterson   
"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted."  Garrison Keillor

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:41 am

Shout out to my son, Sgt Andrew Boisjoli  1-94 Cavalry, C Troop.   Good luck and godspeed with your mission in Iraq.  We will celebrate with the whole family when you return to Duluth.  Never forget we love you dearly and think of you daily.  Packages and letters are on the way!   Mom

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:41 am

Please find SGT bell at camp virginia.  He is in DELTA company, large buff, tall man.  From Bloomington, MN. Has daughter and girlfriend , among other family members back home.  This webcast brings chills down my spine.  Our 2 year old would gain the world from seeing her father on the news/webcast.  Please , Please find him.  I will not see him until feb :(

One of my care packages was lost in the mail with 3 of his expensive headphones for our skype time.  It also had his gun plug to keep sand out of his gun :(

Please find him!  If you do find him, please !!


Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:41 am

Huge Shout Out to my husband SSG Stephen Walker of Delta Company! I can't wait to see you soon and welcome our baby girl into the world! So proud of you! Love and miss you very much!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:38 am

I would like to tell my husband SPC Ali Al Amary from Lawrenceville GA, serving with the 1_125 in  Kuwait.  Sophia and I love you so much and are so proud of you. You are the best! Also like to Thank all the troops.  Thank  you for your reports!  Can not wait for you guys to come home !!!

Take care

Brandy mn

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:36 am

To my Fiance Sgt. Jeromy Eotvos, who is currently in Kuwait.
Miss and Love you more and more everyday, I can't wait for your safe arrival home.
I am so proud of you.

Katie Stanke

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:35 am

We miss you SGT BELL with all our hearts! You are our hero and hurry home!!

love ari and kristy :(

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:35 am

We are so proud of you and love and you miss you so much Robby!  Take care and say safe.

Love, Mom Dad & Leah

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:34 am

I am so proud of you. I love you and miss you! Ethan misses his daddy! Please stay safe. 

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:30 am

I want to say hi to our son, Specialist Taylor Anderson of St. Paul, MN.  You make us proud everyday, Taylor...WE LOVE YOU!!!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:29 am

May God bless you in your service to our country.  You and your families are in my thoughts and prayers.  Keep the faith. 

Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Chaplain (LTC) Erik Feig

(I was with the Red Bulls on their first tour to Iraq in 2005-2007)

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:29 am

Huge shout out to my boyfriend SPC Joe Hanson stationed in Kuwait.  I'm proud of you and love you!  Can't wait to see you when you get home!

Amanda Ollig

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:26 am

I am the mother of SGT Reta serving from Camp Virginia in convoy security.  I am proud of her and pray for her safety and the safety of all our soldiers serving our country and especially those from Minnesota.  Thank you for this coverage. 

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:25 am

My brother, Andrew W Boisjoli is there in the 1-94 Charlie company Red Bulls! Perhaps he's on a mission but I'd like to tell him I love him and how proud I am of him. :) Same from all our family to Andrew. He's my baby brother and I'm looking forward to him coming home for his leave!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:24 am

My husband Jon Steinbach is serving in Kuwait. I miss him and love him so much. I am so proud of you and what you are doing. I can't wait to see you again.

Angie Steinbach

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:23 am

To Our Wonderful son Jared Bachelder 1st Lt.
Your mom and dad are so proud of you!!
We love you so much!!
We are seeing you on TV right now!!!
We miss you so much!!
You look good,
Thank you KSTP for letting us see our son!!
David and Julia Bachelder

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:23 am

Hoping to hear from my nephew in Kuwait....Sgt Chad R Jensen...haven't heard from him...not even sure which camp he is in..he is a medic with the 477th Medical Unit.

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:19 am

God Bless you all and THANK YOU for all you do!!!  It will never be forgotten!!!

We Love you All!!!

Lisa Johnson

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:18 am

Our son Nathan is at Camp Virginia.  We love you and am very proud of you.  Bob and Kim Duitsman

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:17 am

Sending lots of love to our son , SFC Jason Klinghagen, at  C Co 1/34th BSTB
We are so proud of you. 
Marie and Roger Klinghagen
Proud parents 

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:15 am

To Our son Jared 1st Lt.,
We love you and miss you!!!
Your Mom and Dad

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:14 am

SPC Scott Polack and SPC Steven Polack

WE'RE SO VERY PROUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mom and Dad

Greg & Debbie Polack
Clear Lake, MN

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:13 am

Want to say HI to my son SPC Brynne Lindquist who is stationed at Camp Virgina, Kuwait.  We miss and love you very much!  Mom and Dad

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:12 am

We want to send a hello out to our daddy and husband SFC Scott Kowski. In my childrens short lives (Ages 11 and 8) our soldier has been deployed 3 times with the Minnesota National Guard. Even though it is a tough road to walk, we are so proud of him and his sacrifices. Each time, as he says good-bye to his family here, he walks with his "other" family over there. That is what makes us the most proud of him, these soldiers are his family and he will do everything he can to make sure they are taken care of. He is our "everyday" hero!! God keep him safe and bring him home to us soon. Love your wife and boys!!!
P.S. We also send our love and support to our other family members currently serving over seas too. We love you Andrew Westbrock and Jake Friedrichs. God Speed to all the soldiers and may God Bless you all with a safe return home to your families!!!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 11:08 am

My brother, Andrew W Boisjoli is there in the 1-94 Charlie company Red Bulls! Perhaps he's on a mission but I'd like to tell him I love him and how proud I am of him. :) Same from all our family to Andrew. He's my baby brother and I'm looking forward to him coming home for his leave!


Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:56 am

For my husband, Antonio Pici!

His family misses him so much and cannot wait for his 2 week R&R!
Your daughter misses you so much and loves to Skype with her dadda!
Cannot wait you have you back in our arms :)

We all love you!

Crystal, Sophia, Mama P, Papa P, Christian, Dominic, Gino, Damion, Mario, Melissa, Donna,
little Dom, little Mikey, little Antonio, Alyssa, Anthony, Nick, Samantha, Nolan, John and Toni.

All 7 siblings and nieces/nephews.

We cannot wait for you to get home! 

Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:52 am

I have appreciated the news stories from Kuwait and hope to see some of
our soldiers from the Hutchinson area.  Could you show some of their living
quarters, both officers and regular troops-eating areas, etc.  Thank you.
Marie Klinghagen, mom 

Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:49 am

I have appreciated the news stories from Kuwait and hope to see some of
our soldiers from the Hutchinson area.  Could you show some of their living
quarters, both officers and regular troops-eating areas, etc.  Thank you.
Marie Klinghagen, mom 

Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:47 am

Hello to my son, Sgt. Tim Donovan I love you and miss you!  Your Dad and I are very proud of you! Stay safe! Think of you every day! Love Mom

 Teresa M Donovan

Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:44 am

this is my husband SFC Jeffrey Dahlen serving in Kuwait.....your girls and I love you so much, and can't wait for your return!!  Be safe...Love Jen, Sierra and Shelbie

Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:34 am

We would love to give a shout out to our son, CPL Lucas C. Johnson, daughter and son-in-law, PFC Amalia A. Johnson and SGT Troy S. Johnson and nephews: SGT Kyle T. Johnson and SGT Bret T. Baumgardt who are currently serving at Camp Patriot in Kuwait!

We are extremely proud of all of you! Thank you for your willingness to serve in the armed services to help make this world a better place.

God bless you and your fellow service men and women!

Jonathan & Michelle Johnson

Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:21 am

SPC Proell, Kellin W
TF1-194 AR, D Company
Camp Virginia
APO AE  09327

I understand it is really hot there, Do they have winters or do the temps come down to where it is more tolerable without air conditioning?
Is there something you can't get there that you would really like to have or miss?
To My Nephew Kellin, Just want to say we miss you, love you, and are proud of you, can't wait to see you back home along with the rest of our MN soldiers.
Be safe and we think of you all the time.

Your Aunt Janet

Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:14 am

I am so grateful for you doing this story and being able to see pictures of my boyfriend, Cory Lessard.

To Cory;
I love you and you amaze me everyday. I am so proud of you! Stay safe and I will be here waiting for your return! You are my world and my hero! I love you!!

To the Troops;
Thank you so much for serving and everything you do. Stay safe!

Thank you again,
Heather  H

Friday 09-16-11 @ 10:10 am

my nephew Specialist Nick Behling is currently stationed in Kuwait.  just want to say thank you SO MUCH to him and all of the other soldiers over there.  CAN'T WAIT till you all come home!!! 

stay SAFE!!!

hugs and blessings.

Laura Palmer

Friday 09-16-11 @ 8:41 am

Another hello to Captain Jeff Gardner from Chanhassen.  There are a few more people wanting to say hello, take care and hurry home:
Brad, Laurie, Ben, Emily, Duncan, Holli, Don, Collene, Les, Danielle, Amber, Luke, Maggie, Julie, Dave, Aaron, Collin, Chris, Beth, Laura, Eric, Erin, Mat, Melissa, Katie, Nick, David and Zachary!!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 8:40 am 

A heartfelt “HI!!” and we love you from Tom and Kerry and your family in Grand Rapids, MN, to our son-in-law, SSG Andrew Lemieux!!  Stay safe and we think of you every day and are praying for your safe return!!  Jamie and Braden are doing you proud, Andy, and we are all so proud of the three of you, and all that serve and their families.  God Bless America and God Bless our soldiers and their  families!!  Our love to you, Tom and Kerry  P.S. Package coming soon!!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 8:21 am

I'd like to tell my daughter Michelle Cheney at Camp Virginia I love her very much and I am so very proud of her.

God Bless you and all the troops.

Lisa Cheney

Friday 09-16-11 @ 8:01 am

Good Morning,

Thank you for airing this special topic.  I would like to express my great appreciation to the troops and the work they are carrying out.  I have a son serving at Camp Patriot, SPC Robert Grover.  Although it is difficult to have the troops away from home, let them know that we love them and pray for them everyday.   My question is more related to keeping morale up and would like to know what types of care packages they most like to receive? can we support them the most while they are deployed? 

Thank You KSTP!
Dee Grover Thomas

Friday 09-16-11 @ 7:58 am

Hello to our son, SPC SPARKS, TYLER from Rochester, MN.  We love you and miss you!  Stay safe- we are very proud of you

You family!! :)

Tyler is serving in the guard and was born in Rochester MN, he surrently lives in St. Cloud, MN.  He was married in March before his May deployment.  He is an avid hockey player and was on the State winning team from Rochester Century high school.

Friday 09-16-11 @ 7:53 am

My Husband is over there with you guys. Zachary Sanford. I just want him to know that I love him and think about him everyday! I pray for you guys everyday. I can wait to see him come home safe! I love you Baby!

Friday 09-16-11 @ 7:51 am

Hello Dale from Boissevain, Canada.  Thank you to all you do to keep us all safe.  God Bless!

From Dirk’s Mom, Lani Batke

Friday 09-16-11 @ 7:46 am

A shout out to SPC John Struemke serving with HHC BCT 1/34th in Kuwait from Colorado.  Show your clip on KSTP’s web site.  We are very proud of you, miss you and can’t wait until you get back.  Love Mom and Dad.

Friday 09-16-11 @ 7:11 am

Thank you for the coverage. I'd like to send a message to our son, CPL Steven Dalquist, Browerville, MN stationed at Camp Virginia, Kuwait with D Co 1-194:

We are so proud of you for the sacrifices you are making to serve your country and defend our freedoms. Stay safe, we love you and will see you soon!

Colleen and Duane Dalquist

Friday 09-16-11 @ 6:57 am

My Nephew SPC Michael Maruca is serving our country. Even though we miss him very much we realize he serves a bigger purpose! We love you very much and know you will come home safe! Happy Birthday to you my favoite nephew!

Auntie Stephie

Friday 09-16-11 @ 4:09 am

While my best wishes are with all of our Minnesota Troops; I would like to send greetings to two of Minnesota’s soldiers in particular.

First; Sgt. Tony Brandt, Minnesota National Guard and Hennepin EMS Paramedic. Greetings from Hennepin EMS! We wish you safe travels and  all the best during your deployment.

Second, to my son, Private David Ball (B-Troop 1-94 Cavalry): I miss you and am so very proud of your service as a 3rd generation Minnesota Guardsman. Keep up the hard work and stay safe!

Robert Ball, EMT-P
Operations Supervisor
Hennepin Emergency Medical Services

Friday 09-16-11 @ 1:31 am

If you are able to do so, I would love to give my husband a shout-out on the newscast tomorrow in Kuwait.  He is part of Charlie Battery and the 1-125th.  His name is Benjamin Vilina.  I would just like to tell him "Be safe babe, I love you so much.  I will always be waiting here for you when you come home.  I can't wait for you to meet your new baby boy!  Love your girl, Chelsea."

Friday 09-16-11 @ 1:02 am

To whom it may concern:
I have been watching the footage of the reports you have been doing of the MN National  Guard Members who are in Iraq/Kuwait.  Thank you for doing this I feel that many people forget about our soldiers and I am glad someone is paying attention to the hard work they do overseas.  Also, I want to give a shout out to all the soldiers of the Pine City National Guard Unit!!!!  My brother is over there with that Unit and his Name is SPC Orion Trettel.  God bless all of our soldiers over there and I have every soldeir in my thoughts and prayers.
-Amanda Reamer

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 11:07 pm

Sending out a big "Howdy Do!' to my brother, Phil Moran, and my cousin, Rick Jensen, members of the MN National Guard, Red Bull Brigade. Claudette Moran 

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 10:52 pm

To PV 2 Maesse Travis,
We love you and are so proud of you!  Thanks for all you are doing!  We have you in our thoughts and prayers everyday.  To all the soldiers of A Co.  1/194th AR (CAB) thanks for all you do and keep each other safe.  We are taking care of one another at home.  Hooah and see you home soon!

To Mark Albert-
Thanks for taking an interest in our soldiers and the mission that they are on.  It has been great to see it a bit publicized it kind of seemed like everyone except family and friends had forgotten so once again thanks from the bottom of our hearts.  We appreciated all you  did! 

Love and with  GREAT American and MN National Guard Pride-
Glenn, Christy, Ashley and Donovan Maesse

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 10:31 pm

I just wanted to let you know how greatful my family is that you have done this story of the draw down in Irag.  Our soldiers are not able to share information about the missions  with their families back home and this has given us the chance to see what our loved ones are doing.  Thank you!

Jodi Loomis
Proud parent of deployed soldier stationed in Kuwait 
SPC Cory Schroeder from Redwood Falls MN

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 10:31 pm

I would like to give a message to my husband:

I love you very much and miss you dearly. I pray that you stay safe and that God brings you and all of your fellow soldiers safely home!
Love Always and Forever,
Rebekah, Venus and Neptune

Thank you KSTP for giving us this chance to see our soldiers and know that they are doing our country proud!
God Bless,
Rebekah Windschitl

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 10:31 pm

KSTP have been interviewing Cpt Jon Andrews regarding the fire in northern MN.  Cpt Sam Andrews, Headquarters Co is currently serving with the Red Bulls in Kuwait.  If Mark Albert happens to meet Sam, have him say hello from his dad.

Bob Andrews

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 10:28 pm

I know you are probably swamped with e-mails ... about 2,400 so far? LOL. I just wanted to say thank you for showing our soldiers to the citizens of MN. Our soldiers are so proud to represent MN and wear that Red Bull on their sleeves. I'm sorry I didn't catch a glimpse of my husband, Cpt. Michael Boelk, but I am SO SO SO proud of him. SO proud of our soldiers and SO proud to be part of an organization that aims to protect what we all love and believe in: freedom.

God Bless America.

Barbara (Brown) Boelk

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 10:24 pm

I would like to tell my brother 1st SG Dale Klitzke, how proud we r of him and that he is still in the hearts of many of us back home. This is his 2nd tour, and he has worked very hard to get where he is in life, like many soldiers, he had to sacrifice his life back home missing his babies, to fight for our freedom, which none of us should ever take for granted. His bravery and courage is a inspiration to all of us, it makes us proud to say that he is my Brother:-)  Remember your loved and missed, and thought of everyday!! Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family.
Proverbs 3:5, 6 ” Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (NIV) Love you, your Sis, Stacy & Dirk

Hi Uncle Dale,
Hope you're holding up well, sure do miss you.  How is your troop doing? You guys all are in my thoughts everyday. I am so thankful for my great and brave uncle, we all are proud of you and grandma is thinking of you :) Just seen what you did on tv, soo cool! just be safe, k:-) Hope to hear from you soon? I LOVE YOU!!!!
All my love,
p.s. can't wait to hear about you on the news!

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 10:05 pm


I've enjoyed watching your reporting on the MN Red Bulls. My husband is currently stationed at Camp Virginia. (Jason Huedepohl) We've been married 4 years (Sept 8). This is our first deployment. Can't wait to see him in Jan! Super excited!! Miss him everyday. Secret to successfully surviving a deployment.....keep busy. Full time job and completing my masters in health care administration is keeping me sane. This is the key...keep busy, it makes the time go by faster.

Best wishes to all MN National Guard Members, please come back safe and sound!


Thursday 09-15-11 @ 9:34 pm

I would like to do a shout out to my brother SPC Fielder,Jeffrey. He is stationed at Camp Virginia, Kuwait with the 1-194 B Company. We love and miss you! We think of you every day. We are proud of you and can’t wait for you to come home.

We love you!! Jerry, Michelle, Merrissa, Rachel and Matthew

 P.S. Hey Homie! Whatz up! Love you-Homeslice

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 9:32 pm

I would like to give a shout out to my husband CPL Joseph Smith.  You are my hero, and the reason I strive to be a better person every single day.  I am patiently waiting for you to come home to me.  But meanwhile, I will keep sending you love in the form of cookies!  Stay safe honey, and I will see you soon!

Love your wife,
Gina Sophia

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 9:31 pm


We want to thank you for the reports from overseas. Our son is

Serving in Kuwait. (Sgt. Vossen, Corey) It was nice to have a snapshot of the soldiers  daily life and routine there.

As a mother I’ve always liked a visual of what my sons are doing and where they are at!

Of course we are very proud of him and like to make sure everyone knows he is serving in the

National Guard…we love him and miss him and can’t wait to have him home along with the other soldiers.

 I also want to plug the “Family Readiness Groups” for the families at home…the FRG out of Mankato does a wonderful job.

Loni Vossen

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 9:23 pm

My name is Midge Anderson and my son Taylor is stationed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.  I would never miss an opportunity to talk about Taylor because he is an amazing example of a young man who just wanted to make a difference and serve his country.  Taylor was 17 years old and a junior at Cretin-Derham Hall High School when he came to me and his dad and asked if he could sign up for the MN National Guard.  At 17 he needed our permission so he knew it would be a hard sell but he was up to the task.  His father served in the Army Reserve so he was an easier sell than me but Taylor would not give up.  Every question that I came  up with he would find the answer and every fear that I had he would sweep away.  That Spring we signed the papers, with the recruiter asking me if I needed a chair because he thought I was about to faint.  We never looked back. 
Taylor spent the summer between his junior and senior year at basic training and 2 weeks after graduating high school he left again for Fort Benning to complete his training.  Taylor has never complained about the summers he's missed and didn't flinch when he was told he was being deployed. 
Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when Taylor left, but any strength I have comes from him.  We live in a world of young people who have no idea that people make sacrifices everyday so that they can sleep under this blanket of freedom.  Taylor has been an amazing influence on his two younger brothers who would tell you everyday that he is their hero and I will tell you that he is the bravest man I know.  There is nothing he won't do for this country and he will do it without a second thought.

Thanks for making sure people remember that these men and women are making Minnesota proud.

Midge Anderson

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 8:54 pm

My brother is SPC Daniel Breeggemann, from Jordan Minnesota. He is with the 1st squadron 94th cavalry and this is his first deployment.

Everyone sends you much love Dan and we all know and hope you are safe.

We hope you and your fellow soldiers make it home safely!

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 8:05 pm

I would like to send a shout out and a huge hug to my son, PFC Jesse Gran, who serves with 1st Battalion 125th Field Artillary! Jess - we love you and miss you tons! Mom, Colin and Torri

Thank you for making this possible!
Bridget Gran

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 6:15 pm

I want to give a shout out to my awesome husband PFC Russell Cupp, 1-194 CAB Delta Company Camp Virginia.  Your wife loves you dearly and thinks about you 24/7!! Can't wait to see you again!  A big thank you to all soldiers serving!  You're all appreciated!
Jean Cupp
Inver Grove Heights 

Thursday 09-15-11 @ 8:34 am

Our son is Cpl. Alex Johnson from St Joseph and is on his 2nd deployment. Alex is with Delta Company 1-194 AR.. Hi son we miss you and are very proud of you stay safe..

And thank you to all our solders…

Scott and Terri Johnson

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 11:44 pm

Thank you, KSTP, for this great coverage of the Red Bulls in Kuwait and Iraq.  When we have loved ones on deployment we hunger for any bit of information to let us know how things are in their daily lives.  We are proud of our grandson, Spc Jeffrey Liebl, who is based at Camp Buehring.  We have frequent contact with him but can never tell him enough how much his family here misses him, loves him and prays for his safety.  We just observed the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Because of 9/11, these thousands of troops are fighting a war far from home; and because these brave troops are willing to serve their country we here at home keep on enjoying our freedoms.  We are the land of the free, because of the brave. 

 G & G Eliason

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 11:16 pm

Dear Mark,

When troops are escorted out of Iraq to a base in Kuwait, which base do they go to, what do they do while in Kuwait, and how long do they stay there before leaving for home?

C. Eliason


Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 11:01 pm

On behalf of a 2 time Iraqi Veteran myself, I would like to sincerely thank all the courageous men and women of the Minnesota Red Bulls for their dedicated service. I am proud of each and every one of you, especially my husband Staff Sergeant Tommy Eam from Able Troop 1-94 Cavalry. I love you and miss you.

Keep up the admirable work Minnesota and come home safe.

-Breena Eam

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 10:34 pm

I would like to tell my husband SFC Jeremiah Horn at Camp Virginia  Kuwait hi .  We love you and are so proud of you. You are the best! This is his 4th deployment since joining the military.  Thank  you for your reports!

Jessica Horn

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 9:18 pm

Hi KSTP!  You have made my week!  I love watching stories about what our soldiers are up to overseas.  I watch the stories over and over in hopes of just a glimpse of my soldier!
I want to send some encouragement to all the soldiers and love to my husband, Lt Chuck Hartwig.  We are so proud of all the soldiers!  Their mission is important!   Please tell my husband that we love him and miss him every day!  Chuck is stationed at Kuwait Naval Base with the 1-125FA, A Battery. We have a daughter, who recently started kindergarten and makes lots of pictures to send to daddy.  She sleeps every night with her daddy doll next to her, she brings it many places with her too.  She has large jug of "daddy's kisses" (chocolate kisses) and she gets one each morning.  Together, we count down until our family will be reunited next year!  Our son is turning the big '1' this weekend and I am sad his daddy won't be here to celebrate (but it is only fair, he missed Abbey's birth and first birthday due deployment and likely her 6th birthday).   WE LOVE YOU, LT HARTWIG!

Michelle Hartwig
Special Education Teacher
Jeffers Pond Elementary

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 8:38 pm

My best friend, SPC Katherine (Katie) Driscoll is serving her heart out in Kuwait! We found out she was leaving just a few months before my son was born. She went for training, and had one weekend off before she flew to Kuwait... She got to meet my son for the first time when he was two weeks old. And he'll likely be a year old when we get to see her again.

Here's to Katie: We love you, and miss you! We are so proud of you, and thank you for your determination and courage!

With lots of love!!

Your bestie, Heather
And Mike, and little Jonathan!!

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 7:14 pm

My name is Crystal Pici!
My husband is Pvt Antonio Pici with the MN Red Bulls! I was hoping to send a greeting to him.

We have an 11 month old daughter who misses him very much. She will be sure to have lots of cake on her first birthday next month! We are very proud of him and will continue to support him in everything we do!

Thank you!

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 6:15 pm

I just want to recognize my wonderful husband, Rick who serves as a Chaplain with the MN Nat'l Guard.  I am so very proud of him.  He was part of the Armed Forces that helped liberate Kuwait 20 years ago.  He was honoarably discharged from the Marine Corps shortly after.  He has served as a pastor since then.  He has always had a desire to serve again as a chaplain and when that opportunity came 3 years ago he jumped at the chance.  We have a very supportive church congregation who is allowing him to return as their pastor when his deployment is done.  He is honored to be able to serve his God and country and I am honored to be his wife.

Thank you KSTP for your coverage on our troops.

Kathleen Messer


Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 4:10 pm

My Son, PFC Larson, Daniel is deployed at Camp Virginia, Kuwait. I want to say that we are very proud of you, your mother and I miss you greatly. Keep safe along with the rest of your Buddy's over there.

God Bless you All.
We Love you!

Steve Larson

PS - Thank you KSTP for your great reporting. This story hits home for all Minnesotans

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 8:40 am

This is my son.. he is with B-Troop 1-94 CAL

This is my son over in Kuwait.. tell him how much I love him and how PROUD of him we are!!!

We will see him soon!!!

Debbie Elsner

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 8:25 am

First of all THANK YOU for reporting the work our soldiers are doing. Our son is a MN National Guard soldier in Camp Virginia, Kuwait. No matter how many times I write that...or address a package to still seems unreal. So it's nice to get a view of what they are doing during a day. If you run across Nathan Wagner tell him his mom says HI. I'm sure that will totally embarrass him. THANK YOU

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 7:49 am

Dale is my cousin and I think of him often, this is not his first time serving and I pray he has a quick and safe journey home! I’d like him to know I’m thinking of him especially this month, he will know why. Just know she is watching over you and with you always! I love you cuz!!!   

 Lori Sumbs

Wednesday 09-14-11 @ 7:45 am

I'd like to say "HEY" to my big brother, Daniel D Lindeman (Glencoe, MN).
He was at Desert Storm and has since RE-enlisted and now 20 years later is back in Kuwait.
He's one of the "older" guys there!!
We are so proud of him and everyone who fights for our freedom each day.

Love and Miss you!!
Your little sister
Jackie Bernstein :)

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 11:26 pm

My soldier is my son, Spc Buddy Mericle. He just turned 22 on August 20th while being deployed. He has been in the NG for close to 6 years. He joined the fall of his senior year of high school. Although the deployment scares me, as a mom, I could not more proud of him. I love him and miss him very much but I know he is doing what he has been trained to do for his family, friends and country!!! He is my soldier my son, my hero!!!!!  We all love and miss you Bud!!!!

Debbie Mericle

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 9:33 pm

my brother is specialist nyangweso, dennis we wanna say we love you and miss you and that we are proud of you and be safe
we also want to wish you a happy 21st birthday love your sister kathren your mom sharon and your wife lisa

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 9:21 pm

KSTP & Mark Albert, thank you for a wonderful and positive story about our soldiers!
To my husband, CH (LT) Brad Cedergren, the kids and I love you and miss you so much, but we are so very proud of you and what you're doing for God, our country, and us!  You are our hero!
To all the soldiers, thank you for doing what you do so we can live with the freedom we have!

- Lynn (Hannah & Noah) Cedergren

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 7:19pm

We want to give a big shout out to our nephew, Andy Westbrock from Sauk Centre, who is at Camp Virginia, Kuwait. Not one day goes by that we don't wonder and worry about you. We are so very proud of you and what you and all the other guards are doing over there. We love and miss you a ton !!!

Dave, Mary Jo, Sarah and Takhiya

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 1:35 pm

Hello !

Love the reports coming from Kuwait .There Perfect ! Its not about politics or people getting hurt , The day to day ! All stuff us familys can grab on to and relate and understand. The kids and I have been watching together and it makes them proud ,more comfortable, and less afraid , since they can quantify on some level what my husband is up too which makes it seem.... Normal and not scary. 

My husband Mike is on his second deployment for the guard and in Kuwait at this time. He such an amazing person, soldier, dad and Husband. He works so hard for us ( as do I, 3 kids , house , cat , dog , and a full time job, not so easy)and our future, we could not be more proud. Although it is hard on all of us we manage. And have adapted in the coping department( if there really is such a thing ,we do not go to bed at night without a bit of a heartache ).

People always ask me what i miss the most. His snoring!!  is always my answer.  ( Although he hates it when i bring it up)When he comes home from being gone, Listening to that sound for me ,has the same affect as listening to the rain ,on a summer night. If it wakes me up ,I just smile and float back to sleep completely content.With 1 thought ! He is there. He is there He is there.....

For all the soldiers and families
Stay Strong , Safe and Sane !!! 


Michelle , Josh (19), Connor (13) and Laura (8)

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 12:49 pm

To Whom Much Is Given, shall much be required - Luke 12:48

KSTP, thanks for your support!

Carlson family

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 12:02 pm

I just want to send a shout out to my wonderful boyfriend, SPC Mitchel Larson! I am so proud of you baby!! Miss you like crazy!! Keep doing a great job and I can't wait to see you!! Hugs and Kisses from home!!

 Kari Anderson 

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 11:47 am

My mom passed away & we found 2 boxes in her thing's,of things to send to the soldiers in Iraq or where ever needed/wanted.
When I went to the post office, they said I needed to fill out all these forms & I was hoping there was a simpler way to get these wanted things sent to them?  They can go to ANY soldier.  Please let me know where to go w/these boxes?  I would also like to add some of my own things/gifts to these boxes.  I will be happy to pay postage & handling, I just want to make sure they'll actually reach our troops!
Calling me would also be fine, to expidite things.  Thank you!

Julie Zdrazil

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 9:06 am

Thank you KSTP for the excellent coverage of our MN National Guard troops serving in Iraq and Kuwait! Our son, SSG Andrew Lemieux, enlisted in the MN Army National Guard when he was 18.  This is now his third deployment overseas… each one gets a little harder as his life situation changes from “single college guy” at 18 to “newly married man” at 27 and now to “husband and father” at 33.  Andy is the third generation of National Guard soldiers in our family – my father served for over 30 years, and Andy’s father served as well.  We are extremely proud of Andy, and we support his decision to serve his country by following in his family’s bootsteps.  We wish all of our troops a safe and successful deployment, and a swift return home to Minnesota!

Laurel Chilcote

Angora, MN

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 8:57 am

A Great Big Thanks to my Nephew Joseph Hjelmstad for taking his 3rd tour in Iraq for all of us.


Auntie Mary

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 6:57 am


I just want to give a big shout out to my daughter SPC. Katherine Driscoll.  You are so missed and loved.  She has wanted to be on deployment since the day she enlisted, has even asked to go for others with families or have done multiple deployments.

I miss you and enjoy the time when we can chat.

Love you always,


Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 6:27 am

I work with an organization called Operation Write Home. We are a family of cardmakers from around the country that make blank handmade greeting cards for our deployed heroes to keep in touch with loved ones. We make general miss you, thinking of you, love you as well as holiday cards.We send a box every 4-6 weeks, it includes 300-350 cards and about 30-50 letters and notes of encouragement.To check us out or to sign your loved one up to receive these cards please go to  We love our troops. God bless them all.

Ann Merkins

Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 12:47 am

My brother Major Timothy Kemp is in Iraq and Kuwait until July of next year he serves in the U.S Army (Red Bulls) and I couldn't be more proud of him. He had to leave behind his wife, two daughters age 3 and 8, who cherish his every moment together with him, as does he. He also had to say good by to his father who is in the hospital after having a stroke during surgery right before he left and his father is paralyzed from his nose down. His father may not make it and he understood that it was most likely his final good by to his father before he left. The men and women that serve our country do a selfless act for our freedom god bless them all!! I don't know how they cope with not being with there families for so long, especially there children, all I can say is that it is a selfless act to defend the future of our country.

Todd Kemp


Tuesday 09-13-11 @ 12:40 am

My name is Jenny Strand, my husband is SPC Strand currently serving with the Red Bulls out of the HHT unit in Kuwait. We, love and miss you SOOOO MUCH!!! We think about him everyday and are very proud of what he is doing! I <3 my soldier, I <3 my best friend, I <3 my husband! We love every moment we get to see and talk to you on Skype!!

We <3 you SPC STRAND!! Go Red Bulls!!

Love, your wife, niece (CheyeAnne), Nephew (Robert), all of your girls: Fena, CiCi, Babi and Angel
Keewatin, MN (HHT Unit in Duluth)

Monday 09-12-11 @ 10:53 pm

My boyfriend, SPC Steinemann, Alex is deployed at Camp Virgina, Kuwait. I just want to say that I am very proud of you, along with the rest of the crew over there. Thank you all!

I love and miss you greatly, baby! Come home soon <3

Miranda Lashinski

Monday 09-12-11 @ 10:34 pm

First, I want to thank KSTP Eyewitness News you for the opportunity to publicly state how proud I am of both of my boys…….. and all the Soldiers deployed with the Minnesota National Guard.  They are all on a very important mission in the wake of the 9/11 anniversary.  As any mother (or loved one) can acknowledge, having a Soldier deployed is bittersweet.  My heart swells with pride; but I also miss them more than words can convey. 

 My oldest, Cpt. Jeffrey Houglum is currently on his second deployment; but that doesn't make it any easier.  I have always been a very patriotic individual because that is how my parents brought me up.  Patriotism has been passed down in our family for generations.

 I remember, after Jeff finally got home from his first deployment in Iraq, I was the happiest gal in the country!!  He hadn't been home for very long, (I was on the road traveling for my job), when I received  a call from my younger son, Cory.  It was the day after his 18th birthday, and he called to inform me that he had enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard. I believe he was waiting for me to tell him how proud I was of him also. Unfortunately, I did not convey that message!  Shame on me for being selfish, but I got very upset with him and told him that I had just gotten one son home and I was NOT going to allow another son do the same thing for me.  I told him that when I got hom, I was going to "get him out of his enlistment," and unfortunately I hung up on him.  Within an hour, I came to my senses and called him to apologize and tell him how proud I was of him also.  How in the world could I be proud of one son and then condemn my other son for doing the exact same thing?  He was merely following in the footsteps of his brother, and he should be hearing the same praise from me that Jeff received.  Later that summer, when Cory was at boot camp, or initial training, he wrote to  tell Jeff that the reason he enlisted was because he had  seen all of the positive changes in Jeff after joining the military.  He wanted those same changes to happen to him.   When we went to Cory's graduation from initial training, the speaker was indeed correct when he stated, "we make our them (sons or daughters) strong, but they make them ARMY STRONG!"  I thank the Army for teaching them strength, teamwork, love of Country,  percevance and respect.

 I am now the proud mother of TWO young men currently deployed with the Minnesota National Guard!   I am equally proud of both of my sons:  Specialist Cory Houglum and Captain Jeffrey Houglum.  I  miss them, but my heart swells with pride.  I pray for their safety and the safety of all the Soldiers deployed with the Minnesota National Guard, and I thank them for what they are doing for our Country.  I know I am not alone, but rather among the ranks of many parents, spouses or loved ones who has a family member away from home.  I appreciate the support that the Soldiers receive from various business groups and organizations that support the troops, and also the support that I receive from the Family Readiness Group  and all of the other loved ones who are also missing their Soldiers! 

Monday 09-12-11 @ 10:18 pm

Here's a special greeting for Staff Sgt. Rebecca Sandberg:   

Happy Birthday, Becky!!!!!
Love from Mom and Dad; Johnnie and Beth, little Paul and Kyle; Anna and David; Clara, Mary Ellen, and Abby
We miss you and are proud of you!  Did you do the run?  Got the tee-shirt?  Wish we could give you a birthday kiss in person.  Love you!!!

Monday 09-12-11 @ 9:47 pm


I want to thank you for highlighting the mission that our MN Red Bulls are working hard on, in support of the drawdown in Iraq.

Our daughter, Rebecca Sandberg, will be celebrating her 27th birthday in Iraq this Saturday.  This is the 3rd birthday she's observing in Iraq, the first 2 were in '05 and '06 when she was part of the historically long deployment, being extended for the troop surge.

She signed up with the Guards a month after she turned 18, purposefully telling us after the fact.  She is a Combat Medic, and is again attached to an infantry unit as their medic.  She is doing the same job as before, riding in a MRAP, checking the road before the convoy.  Hopefully, she and all the Red Bulls will finish their mission, and come back safe and sound. A month before finishing her first deployment, her vehicle got hit by an IED.  She got knocked out but awakened and quickly got out, then kept the driver alive until the helicopter came.  She and the 3 soldiers survived the blast, and thankfully she has no memory of the blast itself.  Her eyebrows and hair got singed, and she sustained a permanent hearing loss on the left side, but no other injuries or scars. 

Now I pray for totally boring and uneventful missions as she travels through Iraq.  She and the other soldiers are sacrificing a normal life with their families back in MN, while serving our country in a hot and dusty desert country.  Now that is something, for a high-speed soldier who is also a girly (but tough) girl.

Thanks again for honoring our soldiers, and telling MN that they are over there, and not forgotten!

Cindy and Jack Sandberg
Hutchinson, MN 

Monday 09-12-11 @ 8:16 pm

My son is with the unit from Austin. They are currently at Camp Shelby preparing to leave for Kuwait in about a month. By rights, they should be the last ones to be deployed. I pray that it's true!

We just used Skype for the first time on Saturday. Very nice to have that technology!

Thank you for recognizing the Mn Ntl Guard!

Kathy Wright 

Monday 09-12-11 @ 7:55 pm

I am the PROUD Mother of Specialist Lucas Laganiere of the 1/34th "Red Bulls" Division of the National Guard. HOOAH!!  There is nothing harder as a parent than
sending your son or daughter to war.  But I have faith in my son, his commrades, and their training, which helps me sleep at night! Personally, I would like to say
to Lucas that his family is proud of him, and loves him, and to please stay safe. To all the soldiers, my question is: How do you feel seeing the 10th Anniversary
of 9/11 come and go with no terrorist incidents? Do you feel, as I do, that the Operation in Iraq has been a big part in stopping terrorist incidents here at home?
Thank you all so very much for the sacrifices you make for our safety and freedom.

Barb Laganiere
I am the PROUD Mother of Specialist Lucas Laganiere of the 1/34th "Red Bulls" Division of the National Guard. HOOAH!!  There is nothing harder as a parent than
sending your son or daughter to war.  But I have faith in my son, his commrades, and their training, which helps me sleep at night! Personally, I would like to say
to Lucas that his family is proud of him, and loves him, and to please stay safe. To all the soldiers, my question is: How do you feel seeing the 10th Anniversary
of 9/11 come and go with no terrorist incidents? Do you feel, as I do, that the Operation in Iraq has been a big part in stopping terrorist incidents here at home?
Thank you all so very much for the sacrifices you make for our safety and freedom.

Barb Laganiere

I am the PROUD Mother of Specialist Lucas Laganiere of the 1/34th "Red Bulls" Division of the National Guard. HOOAH!!  There is nothing harder as a parent than
sending your son or daughter to war.  But I have faith in my son, his commrades, and their training, which helps me sleep at night! Personally, I would like to say

to Lucas that his family is proud of him, and loves him, and to please stay safe. To all the soldiers, my question is: How do you feel seeing the 10th Anniversary
of 9/11 come and go with no terrorist incidents? Do you feel, as I do, that the Operation in Iraq has been a big part in stopping terrorist incidents here at home?
Thank you all so very much for the sacrifices you make for our safety and freedom.


Monday 09-12-11 @ 7:52 pm

I would like to say high to our son Cpl. James Knutson of the 1/194 AR CAB  Delta Co. at Camp Virginia, Kuwait. We are very proud of you, keep up the good work.

Love, Dad & Mom. 


Monday 09-12-11 @ 7:15 pm

Thank you for the coverage you have given to all the military and their families this week.

The story you did on our daughter and son-law, Amanda and Matt Bruns was very much appreciated and well done. 

Jennifer and Jason, the reporter and cameraman were caring, gracious and were very accommodating and understanding especially to my grandchildren yesterday, when they were being “kids”.

When my family was leaving our dairy farm yesterday to head up to Lakeville to help Amanda get ready for the interview, we were extremely touched by our 9-11 visitors perched outside on our big evergreens. They were our symbols of the scarifies all our military and families have given since our country was founded.

 It was a pair of American Bald Eagles.  In fact, these eagles started visiting us when we heard Matt would be deployed for the second time.  They give us comfort and hope during his deployment.

Thanks again for the excellent story!

Ann Buck 

Monday 09-12-11 @ 6:46 pm


I would like to say a big ‘HI’ to my son, 1LT Shawn Nelson, a MN Redbull, 1-125 FA currently deployed in Kuwait. I love you and miss you!

Also, a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the men and women who are serving overseas!!!  You are all hero’s!

And last but not least, thank you to KSTP for remembering and honoring our soldiers….

Marlene Nelson 

Monday 09-12-11 @ 6:29 pm

Hi to the Troops:

We send U hope & prayers 4 your safe return. Thanks heeps &
oodles 4 what U R doing for R country. Needless to say we R proud
of U & hope U can give a smile to someone today. I"ve been in a
club 4 over 40yrs. now & heard the news U guys need mail.

This is Monday night football time so I'm ready 2 cheer on the
best team, even though it might not B my Minnesota Vikings. R
daughter is here 4 wine & dinner. R son is coming to do some electric
work. R other son is a mechanic so he fixed up the car 4 us to trip to
Michigan 2 C relatives. As U can C, I'm using clown language. I'm
Gifon the clown. Have a great day!

Clown hugs & prayers,
                   Ferd & Dorothy 

Monday 09-12-11 @ 6:14 pm

"You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door,
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core,
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dying's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with an honor,
'Cause freedom don't come free.
I'm an American Soldier, an American,
Beside my Brothers and my Sisters I will proudly take a stand.
When liberty's in jeopardy I'll always do what's right.
I'm out here on the front lines, sleep in peace tonight.
American Soldier,
I'm an American Soldier."
What can I say....these words by Toby Keith describe my brother perfectly. I am so proud of all he does and the sacrifices he and the other military make to ensure that we live in a free country. America, be thankful that there are men and women like my brother who have your back (even though they don't know you) so that you can sleep peacefully, play hard and never have to watch over your shoulder.
THOMAS LAMECKER...we love you and miss you!! Sending a ton of love and hugs from Monticello, MN to you in Kuwait.

Sean, Lori, Michaela, Cameron, Jasmine...and Willy. 

Monday 09-12-11 @ 3:51 pm

I was watching your coverage of the Red Bulls in Kuwait and Iraq and would like to thank you for recognizing and highlighting their service.
Also, you mentioned the desire to hear from those who had loved ones deployed on this mission.  My husband, SSG Mikel Lamor is part the 1-94th Cavalry out of Hibbing, Minnesota and I would be incredibly grateful if you could say hello and let him know that he is loved and missed by wife Lisa and daughters Jessica and Sophia.
Thanks again for this unique and touching coverage.

Lisa Lamor

Monday 09-12-11 @ 2:29 pm

Let me try to tell you about my favorite MN Guard soldier.....His name is Sgt. Wayne Knapper. He is curently deployed to Camp Virginia, Kuwait.  He has been an amazing friend to me and my husband since our high school days. The three of us were the good the bad and the ugly! Wayne was the best man at our wedding and he latter married my cousin who had been my maid of honor. He has since become a wonderful father to two boys and has been an incredible role model for my 4 children. All the kids love Wayne and are always talking about all the crazy stories Wayne has told them or the adventures they have had with Wayne. The kids always look forward to pancake day, Wayne has made it a tradition to come to our house once a month and make pancakes and bacon with the kids. Sometimes they talk about life's deep issues while flipping pancakes and sometimes it's just plain silliness! In February of 2010 my husband was killed in a car accident and Wayne was right there by my side getting me and the kids through such a difficult time. He has gone far above and beyond being a friend. He has cared for my family as if we were his own family!  Any time the kids or I need anything we know we can count on Wayne to be there for us! He has supported us through thick and thin and always has our back! Last year when my oldest son was hospitalized for three weeks Wayne again stepped up to the plate and was right by my side getting me through another difficult time. My family is forever grateful to have Wayne as our friend and we are extremely proud of his sacrifice and service to our country! We love and miss our Superman! We would also like to tell him happy birthday!!
Tanya Bartelt

Monday 09-12-11 @ 11:15 am


My name is Tami Buranen (Maple Lake MN) and my son Travis Buranen is stationed at Camp Virginia, Kuwait.  He’s a great story!  Joined the National Guard after high school after listening to his grand dad talk about his adventures in WW2.

2 generations and 67 years apart.  Walter Buranen landed on the shores of Normandy a few days after the D-Day invasion in 1944 as a 21 year old infantryman.  Travis Buranen was deployed to Kuwait in 2011 a few days after his 21st birthday.  He thought it was “cool” all the things that his grand dad did in his war and wanted to do the same things.

Thanks for all you are doing on the air regarding the National Guard!  It’s great to see!

Tami Buranen

Monday 09-12-11 @ 10:09 am

I just want to give a shout out to my husband Sgt Andrew Goerdt serving at Camp Virginia, Kuwait! I LOVE YOU!!!
Lindsey Goerdt

Monday 09-12-11 @ 9:40 am

Just wanted to give a big shout out to my son John--tell him he looked pretty good in his gov issued glasses.  Saw your story last night was a very fitting tribute to the men & women who serve their country.  This is John's second tour to Iraq, and we are proud of him and the rest of the soldiers in his unit.  His brother Mark just got back from Afghan, and he wishes him well on his mission over there as well.

Thanks for the report..

Scott Hilleren,
Duluth, Mn

Monday 09-12-11 @ 9:09 am

Thank you KSTP for supporting our MN National Guard troops again!  You were really the only channel that showed any support during the last time they were there in 2005-2007.  And here you are again!  Thanks!

Monday 09-12-11 @ 8:52 am

Hello!!!  My name is Sandra Menard and my son Spc. Foster, Darren is currently serving with the A-Troop of the 1-94 Cav unit.  Friends and family from the Iron Range and beyond want to say to everyone that is serving, has served our Country a big THANK YOU!!!!    Go RED BULLS!!!!

Monday 09-12-11 @ 7:21 am

Say hi to my son for us! He is the Chaplains Assistant at Camp. Virginia. He wasn't even supposed to go but he volunteered to go with the 134 BSTB....He is Spec. Matt Machin. Tell him we love him and are proud of him!!!!

Todd Machin
Blooming Prairie.....

Monday 09-12-11 @ 7:20 am

A Proud shout out "HELLO" to Steve Hendricks from his family back home, love and miss you bud !

Bobbie Illies

Monday 09-12-11 @ 2:07 am

Hello, I just wanted to write and tell you how wonderful it that you are doing coverage on our troops from our state! My husband staff sergeant Joshua Montgomery is current deployed in Kuwait right now with bravo co 1-194. He works with a wonderful team of guys running mission in out Iraq. Josh is a great leader and a wonderful friend, husband, and father to our 3 year old daughter Brynlee. He joined the MN national guard when he was 17 and was deployed once before to afghanistan in 2004-2005. We are so proud of him and everything he is doing. We have been married just over a year and he was gone for our first anniversary. We are looking forward to his homecoming! Thank you for your coverage of these wonderful men and women! It's wonderful that we civilians are getting a glimpse into there daily life over there. Thank you,

Stephanie Montgomery

Sunday 09-11-11 @ 10:52 pm

Hi I saw your web chat today, I think it is awesome that you are over there embedded with the Soliders.  I am not sure that you will get with my son's group, but in case you did, I thought maybe you could check on him for me.  His name is SPC Sean Hoeppner and he is the the St. Paul unit A CO 2-135 IN.  We are from Eagle Lake, MN.  He is a medic an we are very proud of him that he chose to serve his country.  I worry about him all the time and pray constantly for his safe return home with all the other soldiers.  My big question is what do the soldiers want?  What do they need?  Is there anything that isn't there they would love to have from home?  I think all of us back here have ideas of what to send, but what is the number one thing the soldiers are happy to get?  
Thanks again so much for doing this, even if you don't get with my sons unit it is nice to see the soldiers that are part of his brigade.  Brings a sense of being close to them.
Kelli Hoeppner
Eagle Lake, MN

Sunday 09-11-11 @ 10:31 pm

Hello my name is Amber Wagenman and I want to give a shout out to my fiance and best friend Cory DeMars!!  He truely is missed back home.  Thank you!!

Sunday 09-11-11 @ 10:26 pm

The love of my life, my boyfriend, Specialist Adam Glover, is in Camp Arfijan, Kuwait for the year. I'm so grateful to have Skype but it's never enough, I can't wait for him to come home!
I'm glad 5 eyewitness news is bringing more awareness to the troops over there right now. Thank you!
Amanda Zuleger

Sunday 09-11-11 @ 9:22 pm

My name is Kristi Lentz. My husband has been serving our country for 7 years now. He is Sgt. Lentz. He is currently deployed in Kuwait with the Hutchinson, Redwood Falls unit for the National Guard. He is in the Charlie Co. 1/34th BSTB (Earthpigs) I am very honored and proud to be able to be married to such a good man! He and the rest of the men and woman over seas are all Hero's. I would just like to say thank you to all of them, especially my husband.

It is so hard to watch our soldiers leave us, we sit and worry almost 100% of the time about them. There is never a moment that goes by that we dont think of them. We miss them constantly and wonder what they are doing. We sit and wait for the phone calls and the letters and packages. And let me tell you, we hold on dearly to those things because thats all we have to hold on to until their safe return.
I think it is a wonderful thing what you are doing, and thank you!
If I could, give a shout out to my wonderful amazing husband Sgt Lentz.
I love you and I miss you and I cant wait to see you! Your my Hero!
Thank you again,
Kristi Lentz
Proud Army Wife!

Sunday 09-11-11 @ 9:15 pm

My Boyfriend SGT Allen Rolfes is serving in Kuwait. Love and miss you!!


Sunday 09-11-11 @ 8:52 pm

I just wanted to leave a comment for Spc. Christopher Smith and let him know I love him and very, very proud to call him my husband.  I miss you but will stand by you forever. 

Kelsey Smith

Sunday 09-11-11 @ 6:03 pm


Our Soldier is SFC Steven J. Slettom, he is currently stationed at Camp Virginia, Kuwait. This is our third deployment, he spent 12 months in Kosovo, home for 1 year, 22 months in Iraq, home for almost 4 years, and now, will spend 12 months in Kuwait. When he gets home in May, we will have been married 14 years, but have actually been together for 10! He will have 30 years in the National Guard.  Although we miss him, and would rather he was home, we are proud of him and what he is doing. It is because of men and women like him that we are able to write this. God Bless Our Troops and America!  
Thank you for presenting this series.
Donna Slettom

Sunday 09-11-11 @ 1:40 pm

My loved one was standing behind you as you announced the chat! SPC Katherine Driscoll. I love and miss her so so so much! My husband and I are expecting our 3rd child in December and naming her after SPC Driscoll. Not sure yet if she will be able to be home for a visit during that time. I miss her so terribly and am so proud of her! Hoping you can give her a shout for me!

All my love,
Ashley Foust

Sunday 09-11-11 @ 12:23 pm

Thank you for doing this piece. My dad, 2 brothers, and uncle are all deployed to Kuwait. For my little brothers and sisters, it is good for them to see support from others.

I love you Dad, Pat, and John! Thank you for answering the call to protect our country's Freedom.


Saturday 09-10-11 @ 11:57 pm

I want to say hi to my husband, Sgt Loren Kosloski, serving with C Co 1-194 CAB! Buddy and I miss you terribly and love you bunches! We are so proud of you and what you are there doing! But we can't wait for you to get home! Muah!

My husband deployed in May when our son, Emmett, was only a week old. He will be 4 months old on September 20th, and Loren has spent less than 2 weeks with him. I do my best to take lots of pictures and video record all his little milestones, but it breaks my heart that his daddy is missing so much. This is our first child and it has been so bittersweet to watch him grow. I am so thankful to have our family and friends for support. We are able to Skype with Daddy pretty often, so that helps, and it seems like the little guy recognizes his daddy's voice and always stares intently at him on the computer screen. We try to stay busy and pass the time any way we can. So far we are doing good. One day at a time!

Thank you for doing this special, we will be watching it for sure looking for our friends and loved ones in Charlie and Delta companies!

Melissa Kosloski and Baby Emmett

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 11:12 pm

My son Pvt. David B Weeres in stationed in Kuwait. He is in C Company , Red Bulls. David is originally from Ramsey MN. He was in your last clip from Kuwait, far left. Thank you for being there keeping us up on "our soldiers"

Susan Weeres

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 11:05 pm

My husband, SSG Steven Luitjens is deployed in Kuwait.  I wanted to say I love him and miss him very much! I'm anxious for his return home and stay safe!
Emily Luitjens

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 9:23 pm

My name is Crystal Pici and my husband is Pvt. Antonio Pici of Charlie Battery 1-125FA. He is currently deployed with the Red Bulls at Camp Arifjan. I'm not sure when this will be reached, but 9/11 is my birthday. I would want nothing more than to have a shout out from my husband tomorrow!

It's hard enough having a birthday on 9/11, but even harder having a husband deployed as well. If there is anyway possible to see him or have a shout out, I would be greatly appreciate it! Thank you and I look forward to seeing all the updates coming up!!

Crystal Pici

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 5:05 pm

My son, Sgt. Andrew Kuehl is stationed at Camp Buehring and is a truck commander with Charlie Company.  He joined the Guard after 9-11 because of his sense of duty to protect our country and its' citizens from acts of terrorism.  I have never been more proud of him.....or more afraid for his safety.  I can't wait to see him when he comes home on leave next week. I continue to pray for the safety of all our soldiers who are far from home and sacrificing so much for our freedom.
Clarice Dexheimer
Brainerd, MN

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 2:45 pm

My hubby is over there Staff Simondet!! Hope they all are doing great!

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 2:39 pm

My son, Carl Monson, is with the MN Army National Guard in Kuwait - his second deployment.  His unit is out of Anoka.  His first deployment was with the group of Red Bulls that was gone for 22 months in 2006 and 07.  That time he was a gunner/humvee driver, escorting convoys all over Iraq.  This time he is "driving a desk" in Kuwait.  You probably did not meet him because he volunteered to work the night shift.  The joy of his life is his little daughter, who is almost 8 months old.  This time he Skypes with his wife so that he can watch the things that his little one is learning to do.  Last time we communicated mostly through instant messages and occasional phone calls.  This time it is all phone calls, though he likes the pictures that we post on Facebook.  So different!  He is the third member of our family to deploy.  Two with the MN Army National Guard and one with the WI Army National Guard.  Two have deployed twice.  We could not be prouder.
Thank you for your coverage of our guys.  KSTP has (in my opinion) provided the most support and the best coverage of our local soldiers of any of the local stations.  Your reporting and support is greatly appreciated!
Loretta Monson
Pine City, MN

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 2:34 pm

Please give shout out to my son and Sophie & Braylen's daddy...PV2 Black, Adam!!!! 2-135 A Co, 2ND PLT WE MISS HIM SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!

I forgot to include that the shout out below should also be from Adam's fiancée, Megan. She recently joined the Army National Guard and is currently doing Basic Training at Fort Sill, so she will not get to see the series, but would definitely want to be included in the shout out because she is missing him very badly too.

Thank you!
Sandy Prince-Black

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 2:34 pm

Shout out to SSG Todd Turner with C Co 1-194 AR (CAB), Camp Virginia Kuwait – from Wyatt, I love you and miss you daddy!

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 2:31 pm

My son is serving out of Camp Buehring, Pvt. Anthony Willson Troop Alpha 1-94th Calvary….Just wanted to send a shout out! I miss you Anthony!

Sandra Willson

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 2:16 pm

Shout out to all of C Co 1-194 AR (CAB) ,Camp Virginia Kuwait from C Co 1-194 AR (CAB) Family Readiness Group, we miss you all, stay safe and we’ll see you all soon!

Saturday 09-10-11 @ 12:04 pm

Our Son is Spc Nicolas Varner. We Love You Nic and Miss You. We are very Proud of what You are doing.

Saturday 9-10-11 @ 12:02 pm

SSG Rich Reimers has been my best friend for 18 years and my husband for 13! It is hard being alone but he loves his country! It is hard for non military people to understand the sacrifices military families make! It takes a strong love for eachother to make it through the long separations and the lonely nights. Just knowing that we will see each other some time soon, makes the days and nights pass a little faster. My husband is a great father, friend, soldier, and the man I want to hold in my arms for the rest of my life! Thank you for keeping our Redbulls in the news so Minnesotans remember them now that the media dust has settled since they left!
Mrs. Rich Reimers.

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