Minnesota pilot killed in Afghanistan plane crash [GRAPHIC VIDEO]

Categories: Military, Tragedy
Video of the crash shows Lipka's plane stalling in midair before it falls out of the sky and crashes.
Jeremy Lipka, a 37-year-old native of Pine Island, Minnesota, was one of seven people killed in a plane crash outside Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan on Monday.

SEE ALSO: Downtown Minneapolis invaded by Black Hawk helicopters [PHOTOS]

Lipka was a civilian contractor who flew cargo planes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The plane he was piloting on Monday crashed shortly after takeoff, killing everyone on board.

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World War II bomb found in Lyn-Lake

Not a picture of the actual mortar found in Minneapolis
A World War II-vintage Japanese mortar (right) was found in a Lyn-Lake wall, of all places.
Barack Obama is worried about guns on Minneapolis streets, but maybe he should be concerned about bombs, too.

SEE ALSO: Mitt Romney's Minnesota F-bomb

When they took down a wall as part of a renovation project, homeowners near West Lake Street and Aldrich Avenue South thankfully didn't get a blast from the past, though they were in for a huge surprise.

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Minnesota leads U.S. in National Guard suicides since 2008

Categories: Military
Minnesota National guard.jpg
Government data shows that National Guard soliders -- even those who haven't deployed -- are particularly susceptible to suicide.
More Minnesota National Guard soldiers have committed suicide since 2008 than those from any other state.

SEE ALSO: Blake Page, West Point cadet, quits academy to protest "unconstitutional proselytism"

That grim tidbit was contained in an extensive report on Texas National Guard suicides put together by the Austin American-Statesman and published over the weekend.

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Post Office apologizes for returning woman's letter to Iraq-based son with "DECEASED" stamp

Categories: Military, Sad
Not only did the Postal Service not deliver her letter, but they incorrectly told Najbar her son was dead to boot.
In September 2006, Duluth resident Joan Najbar sent a letter to her son, Sam Eininger, a National Guard solider who was stationed in Iraq. The next month, her letter was returned, unopened, but adorned with this stamp: "DECEASED"

SEE ALSO: Downtown Minneapolis invaded by Black Hawk helicopters [PHOTOS]

Fortunately, Najbar had been in touch regularly with her son, including a phone conversation the night before the letter was returned. But still, considering Eininger was still alive, that's a pretty outrageous and traumatic fuck-up.

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Pete Hegseth on lady soldiers: "You don't want to have to deal with Matt's feelings toward Mary"

Categories: Military, Politics
pete hegseth rect.jpg
Hegseth doesn't like the idea of women serving in combat roles.
Yesterday, in a surprising move, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed an order allowing women to partake in armed combat for the first time in American history.

SEE ALSO: Decorated war vet Pete Hegseth seeking GOP endorsement to challenge Klobuchar [VIDEO]

Panetta's move had the strong support of President Obama and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but it didn't sit well with Pete Hegseth, the 32-year-old veteran and Fox News personality who has been mentioned as a possible Republican challenger to Al Franken in 2014.

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Blake Page, West Point cadet, quits academy to protest "unconstitutional proselytism"

Categories: Military, Religion
blake page rect.jpeg
The founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation compares Page (left) to Rosa Parks.
Months shy of his graduation from West Point, Blake Page is quitting the academy and heading back to Minnesota to protest alleged discrimination against non-religious members of the military.

-- Minnesota less religious than 30 years ago, but still one of the most religious states
-- 21-year-old newlywed Minnesotan is 2,000th American to die in Operation Enduring Freedom

Page went public with the news yesterday in a Huffington Post column entitled, "Why I Don't Want to Be a West Point Graduate." In it, he writes: "It is pathetic that so many leaders in the military are comfortable with both subtly and brutally discriminating against non-religious members."

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Apollo 11 moon rocks find safe home at the Minnesota Historical Society

Categories: Military
Photo courtesy of the Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota's moon rocks, which are encased in a lucite globe.
Moon rocks from the Apollo 11 moon landing found a safe home yesterday at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul.

The Minnesota National Guard recently found the moon rocks tucked away and forgotten among military artifacts in a storage unit in the Veteran's Service Building in St. Paul.

When Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins returned to Earth on July 21,1969 after the first moon landing, they brought home several pounds of moon rocks. President Nixon then gave out many of the rocks, from both Apollo 11 and from later mission Apollo 17, as gifts to 135 nations and the 50 states.
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Camp Ripley drones: New $3.9 million facility sparks protest

Categories: Military
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Camp Ripley will train military personnel in the use of unweaponized Raven drones like the one seen in this photo from Iraq.
Antiwar activists gathered last Friday to protest a new $3.9 million drone facility under construction at Camp Ripley in Little Falls.

-- Grand Forks police to begin regularly using drones this spring
-- Attorney may challenge use of Predator drone during NoDak arrest

Though drones are increasingly used by law enforcement -- including in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where they have sparked legal controversy -- the Camp Ripley facility will initially be used only be used by military personnel.

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Downtown Minneapolis invaded by Black Hawk helicopters [PHOTOS]

Categories: Military
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Dan Janal on Twitter
"Why are military helicopters flying over Target Field and Minneapolis?"
-- 21-year-old newlywed Minnesotan is 2,000th American to die in Operation Enduring Freedom
-- Chip Craavack objects to proposed mission reduction for Duluth Air National Guard

At the Twins game last night, Black Hawk helicopters created quite the buzz, both literally and figuratively.

The Twins' 1-0 loss wasn't exactly thrilling, but fans were able to distract themselves by watching choppers maneuver in between skyscrapers and hover over rooftops as if they were dropping off troops trying to repel an invasion from St. Paul or something. Meanwhile, some folks who hadn't paid attention to the news yesterday speculated about worst-case scenarios, including terrorism or a hostage situation.

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VFW flag controversy: MnDOT compromises, will allow flag to fly above overpasses after all

Categories: Military
MnDOT is willing to compromise in hopes of satisfying veterans.
SEE ALSO: VFW upset with MnDOT after being ordered to remove American flags from overpasses

Members of the Palmer Lake VFW were none too happy when MnDOT told them five American flags they'd flown for years over Brooklyn Park-area overpasses had to come down.

But just two days before a let-us-fly-the-flag-once-again rally was set to occur, MnDOT has backtracked and announced that it will allow the stars and stripes to fly above 11 bridges on Highways 610, 10, and 252.

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