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Updated: 11/03/2011 9:54 PM
Created: 09/07/2011 3:19 PM | Print |  Email
By: Mark Albert

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in Iraq: MN Guard Leading the Way Home

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. The 2,700 soldiers from hundreds of Minnesota communities - now the largest deployment of the Guard since World War II - are in charge of providing security convoys to 46,000 withdrawing American troops and to protect bases in Kuwait where they will stage before the trip home.

Click here to read comments to Minnesota National Guard soldiers in Iraq. Comments will be used during Friday's live one-hour video web chat.

Watch our special reports:

SUNDAY, September 11, 2011 at 10 p.m.
Ten years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Minnesotans have fought in two wars - and are still there. Meet Minnesota soldiers who joined because of the attacks and how 9/11 changed their lives.
MONDAY, September 12, 2011 at 10 p.m.
It's often a soldier's best moment of the week: mail call. Meet the Minnesotans who deliver the mail overseas and the soldiers whose faces light up when they receive that package from home.
TUESDAY, September 13, 2011 at 10 p.m.
There are no longer packed phone banks with soldiers waiting in lines to call home. See the drastic changes in how Minnesota soldiers communicate from war.
WEDNESDAY, September 14, 2011 at 10 p.m.
He's deployed in the war his brother died in. Hear the story of a Minnesota soldier who is determined to finish the mission his brother could not.
THURSDAY, September 15, 2011 at 10 p.m.
It's a dangerous mission in a war-torn country: the Minnesota National Guard is bringing tens of thousands of American troops out of Iraq on mile-long convoys that traverse treacherous ground littered with explosives and unknown threats.
FRIDAY, September 16, 2011 at 11 a.m.
Watch a special one-hour video web chat with Mark Albert with the troops in Iraq and Kuwait that aired live on

Submit your questions, comments, or tell us about your loved one serving with the Guard overseas, at
Click here to watch a video preview of the web chat, taped with the troops in Kuwait.
FRIDAY, September 16, 2011 10 p.m.
It's a crucial mission: protecting the bases in Kuwait where U.S. troops will end more than eight years of war in Iraq. Go on patrol with Minnesota soldiers as they lead the way home.
SATURDAY, September 17, 2011 10 p.m.
He's been deployed six times. Now a Twin Cities soldier finds himself back in the Middle East, his first tour of duty with a child.
THURSDAY, November 3, 2011 10 p.m.
It's a force training to be the 911 of the Middle East - a team and a mission made up of Minnesota soldiers that has not been made public until now.
Follow Mark as he tweets from Iraq & Kuwait:
SLIDESHOW: Watch a slideshow of photos of the Minnesota National Guard serving in Iraq and Kuwait, taken by reporter Mark Albert.
Web Extras:
Watch an extended clip of the MN Red Bulls pausing to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks while at Camp Adder, Iraq on Sept. 11, 2011.
Click here to go inside one of Saddam Hussein's extravagant former presidential palaces in Baghdad, which is now the headquarters for the U.S. military in Iraq.

Hear the myths and stories surrounding Camp Patriot, situated along the Kuwaiti coast, including a peak inside a favorite hangout of U.S. Special Forces.

Hear more of Pres. Obama's announcement from Oct. 21, 2011 that all U.S. troops will withdraw from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011 as planned, but still leaving Minnesota National Guard soldiers in Kuwait until Spring.