10 Years of War: National Guard as Strong as Ever [AUDIO,VIDEO]
UNDATED - The 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan quietly came and went last week. It's the longest conflict ever for the United States.
Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard have been called on to help fight in the war since May of 2004.
Captain Randy Belden says there's been a shift in their focus since 9/11, but they're still there when called for efforts close to home.
Belden says, despite soldiers being called to active duty multiple times over the past several years, recruiting for the Guard remains strong.
Belden says soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard have had boots on the ground in Afghanistan off-and-on over the past seven years. He says right now they have about 100 soldiers serving there.
There have been about 100 soldiers with close Minnesota ties that have died in the two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Belden says the Minnesota National Guard has lost one soldier in Afghanistan, that was Specialist George Cauley of Walker in 2009.
Here's a YouTube video from the Associated Press on the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan: