Tuesday, July 16, morning, the 849th MAC reserves left Willmar for deployment. Ninety-five soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard are leaving Minnesota for training, then for a one-year deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. These soldiers will be assigned to the 878th Engineer Battalion, which is headquartered in Augusta, Ga.
Operation Enduring Freedom is the name of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. These soldiers will conduct route clearance missions to ensure mobility of coalition forces. In addition to this primary mission, they will also conduct limited infantry operations.
The soldiers represent communities throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin:
Albert Lea, Atwater, Burnsville, Clearwater, Coon Rapids, Duluth, Eden Prairie, Eden Valley, Fargo, Farmington, Grove City, Isanti, Kenyon, Lakeville, Litchfield,
Mankato, Monticello, New Richmond, Wis., Osseo, Owatonna, Proctor, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park,
St. Paul Park, Sauk Rapids,
Shakopee, White Bear Township, and Woodbury.
Saturday, July 27, Minnesota Pioneer Park in Annandale will sponsor an area artisan expo from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Artisans will demonstrate, display and sell their work in many of the museum’s historic buildings. Come and experience a wide variety of art including painting, blacksmithing, wood carving and chipping, pottery, photography, spinning, quilting, weaving and more. Musicians will perform in the Finnish Church. Summer-time food favorites also will be available including our famous root-beer floats.
Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students, & under age 5 Free.
Minnesota Pioneer Park is located just east of Annandale on Highway 55. (320) 274-8489 or www.pioneerpark.org.
The Kimball Public Library is offering the following programs.
Art In a Bottle – July 15: Children age 7-12 are invited to make Art in a Bottle at the Kimball Public Library from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Monday, July 15. All materials will be provided to create a beautiful bottle of art using colored sand. The attendance limit is 12 and preregistration is required. Walk-ins will be welcome if the registration limit isn’t filled.
A Yellow Ribbon parade send-off will be held along Main Street (Highway 12) in Litchfield starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, in Litchfield for 95 troops headed to Afghanistan by way of Texas. Of these 95, 35 are from Meeker County and five are from the Eden Valley area.
Flags can be picked up at the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce.
Here’s your chance to participate in a local send-off, whether you know any of the 95 troops or not.
Why is Wednesday, July 24, a special day? It is your chance to give the gift of life by donating blood.
The Red Cross Blood Drive takes place at the Watkins Village Hall from 1-7 p.m. Your help is needed to meet our goal. Ask someone who has never donated to come with you.
Previous donors will be contacted to schedule an appointment but you can schedule your own by going to the website www.redcross.org or by calling Theresia at (320) 764-7251 or Betty at 764-9163. Walk-ins are always welcome. Please bring along your photo ID.
Your help will make this a success.