Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday greetings to Wisconsin from Baghdad

Members of the Wisconsin National Guard Joint Area Support Group - Central in at Forward Operating Base Prosperity in Baghdad sent home this holiday greeting, recorded and transmitted by the National Guard Public Affairs Office.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

News: Wisconsin vets board vows to help pay for costly services

From the Associated Press: The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs is taking steps to allow residents to continue living at its nursing home in Union Grove despite steep rate increases set for January.
Residents had complained bitterly about the increases of up to 37 percent and some warned they would be forced to move out.
The agency’s board agreed Friday to use reserve funds to enroll qualifying residents in an aid program that will pay for expenses they cannot afford. For those who do not qualify, the agency will temporarily suspend the collection of payments owed.
Board members said those steps should allow residents to stay until they can consider whether to roll back the increase at a meeting in January. Secretary Ken Black warned, however, the additional aid could lead to a budget shortfall later.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wisconsin military families fight the war at home

In case you missed it, the State Journal told the stories of several Wisconsin National Guard families in Sunday's paper.

At bedtime, 6-year-old Tyler Freeman snuggles up to a little armor against the fear and sadness he feels about his father's yearlong military mission in Iraq.

"He has been crying less at night since his father sent him a shirt to sleep with," said his mother, Laura Freeman, of Fort Atkinson.

Over the past 11 months, Wisconsin families have found many ways to cope with the deployment of more than 3,200 citizen-soldiers, the largest overseas operational mobilization of the state Guard since World War II.

Read the story here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wisconsin soldier describes blast that put him on the cover of Time

The LaCrosse Tribune interviewed Master Sgt. Chet Millard about President Obama's plans to send more troops to Afghanistan.

Millard recalled missions that would last for weeks, with scant opportunities for rest.

"We were constantly being pushed, with very little down time," Millard said Tuesday from his home in Sparta.

Reporter Chris Hubbuch of the Tribune also talked to Millard about the blast the resulted in his appearance on the cover of a national news magazine. He was serving with the 951st Engineer Company with the Wisconsin National Guard, when the truck he was riding in hit a roadside bomb. A photographer from Time came to the scene, and Millard ended up on the cover.
Read the story here.

Wisconsin footprint in Baghdad is shrinking

The Wisconsin National Guard unit in charge of turning over property in the Baghdad International Zone to the government of Iraq is continuing to make progress as the Guard closes in on completion of its year-long deployment.

"We are ready to continue additional property transfers as we draw down the U.S. footprint in the IZ," Col. Steven Bensend said in the Guard's newsletter from Baghdad.

The newsletter, released today, shows soldiers enjoying Thanksgiving meals and describes operations in the International Zone and other duty stations.

Read the newsletter at