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National Guard recognizes Morris supporters

From left are Capt. David Johansson, Barb Hesse, Tom Hesse, Carmen Brunsvold of the Charlie Company Family Readiness Group, and Jim Mitchell, coordinator of the National Guard's Employer Outreach Program.1 / 4
From left are Johansson, Sue Dieter, Sun Tribune Publisher and General Manager, and the Hesses.2 / 4
From left are Johansson, KMRS-KKOK Program Director Bill Eckersen, Barb Hesse and Mitchell.3 / 4
From left are Johansson, MAHS Principal Mike Coquyt, Morris Area Superintendent Scott Monson, the Hesses and MAES Principal Brad Korn.4 / 4

The National Guard commanding officer of Charlie Battery and two other Guard representatives presented Minnesota state flags, plaques and a calendar created by a battery officer to Morris groups which supported the battery during its recently completed deployment in Iraq and Kuwait.

The Charlie Battery of the 1-151st Field Artillery is comprised of National Guard soldiers from Morris and Ortonville. The soldiers were charged with convoy security in Iraq and Kuwait during their year-long deployment. They returned home earlier this month.

Capt. David Johansson presented flags that were flown over Camp Buehring, which is where the soldiers were headquartered in Kuwait.

The flags, plaques and calendars were presented to the Morris Family Readiness Group organizers Barb and Tom Hesse, the Morris Area School District, KMRS-KKOK radio and the Morris Sun Tribune.

Last week, Morris National Guard Sgt. Brent Fuhrman also presented an American flag and a certificate to Morris Area's Peg Rinkenberger to recognize the many efforts made the the Morris Area students and staff to support the soldiers during their deployment.

Johansson was joined by Carmen Brunsvold, head of the Charlie Company Family Readiness Groups, and Jim Mitchell, the National Guard's Employer Outreach Program Coordinator for the 1-151st FA.

The Hesses also took part in the presentations and were surprised to learn they also were recipients.

Eight presentations were made in the Morris National Guard's area, and 34 presentations were made in the Charlie Battery area, Mitchell said. Across the battalion, 120 flags were presented.

Initially, soldiers paid for the purchase of the flags. But this time, Cenex in Montevideo contributed the donations from September and October 2009 made by people who were recycling oil and antifreeze to the flag purchases. The donations almost covered the entire cost of the flags, Mitchell said.