MN Guard Leading the Way Home: Read Comments to Soldiers

Updated: 09/16/2011 8:11 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