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Minn. Guard veterans join reintegration events

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Returning veterans
Hundreds of Minnesota National Guard members who returned from service oversees 30 days ago attended the first of many statewide reintegration events Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.
MPR Photo/Rupa Shenoy

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota National Guard held the first of several reintegration events for soldiers who have been back in the country for 30 days this weekend in Minneapolis.

The 30-day reintegration event is mandatory for service members, but they can choose which sessions to attend. Many sessions focus on jobs and  health care. 

Maj. Tim Miller and his wife, Ann, were interested in sessions where they could learn more about how to help their children adjust. 

"This is my second deployment now, first one with kids, though, and so that was an unknown for sure," Tim Miller says. 

Ann Miller adds: "I think for us, we have two little girls, and it's mostly been balancing how to have them get used to having Daddy home, and just the different dynamics of being a four again instead of a family of three."

The National Guard plans reintegration events across the state over the next several weeks. There are also events for soldiers who have been back for 60 and 90 days from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

As part of the event, representatives from 20 corporations were in Minneapolis on Sunday to help soldiers review resumes and practice job interviews.

Maj. Aaron Krenz, the chief of Deployment Cycle Support for the Minnesota National Guard, says soldiers and their families get a lot of information at the event -- but it's most important for them to remember who to call for help. 

"During a reintegration event is a good time -- things are going well," Krenz says. "And/or there may be sometimes unwilling to bring up some of the issues at a reintegration event. But then when they go home then at least they resources to call and get help if they need it."