Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

Featured Posts        





Mar 28th, 2010

Event Pays a Thank You to Troops, Vets, their Families

The audience stand for the singing of the National Anthem at the start of the community Welcome Home event for veterans and their families at the St. Cloud Civic Center, Sunday, March 28, 2010 [Front right: Aubrey Immelman with Patrick, age 4]. (Photo credit: Jason Wachter / St. Cloud Times)

By Mark Sommerhauser
St. Cloud Times
March 29, 2010

After two tours in Iraq, a little recognition meant a lot to Capt. John Donovan — especially coming from fellow veterans.

Donovan recently returned home to St. Joseph from an Iraq deployment with the U.S. Army National Guard’s 34th Infantry Division, also known as the Red Bulls.

On Sunday, Donovan got a rousing thank you from community members and other veterans at St. Cloud Civic Center.

Donovan and other local returning veterans took center stage at the Welcome Home Event for Veterans. The event’s organizers, which included the St. Cloud Times, also recognized the 77 Minnesota service members who won’t return from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Service members read the names of each Minnesotan who has died, while a projector flashed their picture in the background.

The fallen included Marine Corps Cpl. Anthony McElveen of Little Falls, who died in an explosion in Iraq in 2005.

A children’s play area added levity to Sundays event. And service groups set up booths to link veterans to health care, education and employment opportunities.

Other Minnesota cities have welcomed back the Red Bulls since they returned from Iraq earlier this year.

But other cities haven’t done anything on the scale of Sunday’s event, said Brig. Gen Gerry Lang, deputy commander of the Red Bulls division.

Lang, who lives in Sauk Rapids, said such gatherings boost troop morale during long-running conflicts such as the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

“It shows them the community continues to be behind them,” Lang said.

It clearly meant something to Donovan, who made his second Iraq tour this year.

Donovan saw plenty while stationed in Basra, Iraq. He protected top U.S. generals, trained Iraqi security forces and hunkered down at least once a month during insurgent rocket attacks.

On Sunday, Donovan saw aging veterans holding American flags in a ring around him, in tribute to him and his comrades.

That and other sights at Sunday’s event struck a chord with Donovan, who called it “heartwarming.”

“It chokes me up,” Donovan said, “to see past service members come out and be here.”


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — March 28, 2009

Bachmann Says “I’m Not a Kook”

One-year retrospective: One year ago today, I featured a compilation of reports regarding U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s conspiracy theory that the United States would soon be moving to “give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency,” which would mean the U.S. as a country would be “no more.” (Bachmann grabbed the mythical ball and ran with it after China’s central bank governor suggested replacing the weakening dollar as the world’s reserve currency.)

2 Responses to “Welcome Home, Red Bulls!”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Barack Obama’s Libya Speech Says:

    […] Welcome Home, Red Bulls!  […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Minnesota Guard Iraq-Bound Says:

    […] Welcome Home, Red Bulls! (March 28, 2010) […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.