Hundreds of loved ones bid farewell to 131 members of the Minnesota Army National Guard last night during a deployment ceremony at the Bernick's Arena in Sartell. The Army National Guard's First Brigade Combat Team is made up of 29 units from 27 different Minnesota communities.
Ten St. Cloud area soldiers will be armed with a new G-P-S unit, when they leave for Iraq on Friday. The St. Augusta American Legion Post 621 donated the G-P-S units, with the help of Lowranz Electronics. Lowranz spokesman Mike Schnettler says the units will be a value tool for the soldiers.
Several departure ceremonies for the Minnesota National Guard will be held in Central Minnesota over the next few days. The First Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, is scheduled to depart Minnesota in the next few weeks in support of Operation New Dawn in Iraq.