05 January 2015

Red Bull Round-up: 'While We Were Out ...'

Happy New Year! Like you, we're busy getting back into the swing of things: putting away holiday decorations, getting the kids back to school, clearing off the desk, and resolving to get back to work.

Meanwhile, here are a few notes from news that occurred over the holidays:

'GO FOR BROKE' ON ROSE PARADE FLOAT: World War II veterans of the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, Japanese-American veterans who at one point fought in Italy while assigned to the U.S. 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division, were honored while riding a float at this year's Rose Parade. The veterans weathered near-freezing temperatures during the parade. The float was sponsored by the city of Alhambra, Calif. For YouTube video, click here.

THE 'RED BULL' WINTERS OVER IN JAPAN: Members of Bravo Company, 100th Battalion/442nd RCT Reenactment Group, who study and demonstrate what life was like for 34th Inf. "Red Bull" Div. soldiers while fighting in World War II Italy, conducted their annual winter camp on Jan. 2-3 in Shizuoka, Japan. For photos, click here and here.

NEW BOOK BY DOCTRINE MAN!!: At his mil-blog "The Pendulum", the ever-snarky Doctrine Man!! posted an annotated Year in Review. He also released his third collection of military-themed cartoons, titled "Fifty Shades of Multicam", available through Amazon here.

NEW 34th INFANTRY DIVISION ASSOCIATION CHAPTER: The "First Minnesota" chapter of the 34th Infantry Division Association was recently granted charter. There's a Facebook page for the new organization here. The lineage of the "First Minnesota"—named after a unit of Minnesota volunteers during the American Civil War—is maintained by the modern Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment (2-135th Inf.), headquartered in Mankato.

'WOMAN VETERAN' LICENSE PLATES AVAILABLE IN MINNESOTA: Minnesota vehicle license plates inscribed with the words "woman veteran" are now available. The design features an American flag, and a silhouette of a female service member against an outlined state of Minnesota. Applicants for the plates should bring copies of a DD-214 or other discharge papers as proof of their service.

WRITER-VETERAN REPORTS FROM LIBERIA: Brian Castner, author of "The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows," recently filed a New Year's report from the African nation of Liberia, where U.S. military forces are assisting in efforts to control Ebola. Members of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Inf. Div. headquarters, as well as other National Guard units nationwide, are slated to deploy to the "Operation United Assistance" mission there later this spring.

OH, YEAH ... WE ALMOST FORGOT: WAR ENDS IN AFGHANISTAN. Maj. Gen. John Campbell, current commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, cased the colors of the International Security Assistance Force ("ISAF") mission there on Dec. 28. The "non-combat" mission there is now called "Resolute Support."

Readers of the Red Bull Rising blog may remember that Campbell was previously the commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), to which the Iowa National Guard's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Inf. Div. (2-34th BCT) was assigned during its 2010-2011 deployment to Afghanistan.

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