Even when we appreciate the contributions and sacrifices that are made by the men and women in the armed forces; it's good for us to see them, and what and how they do what they do first hand -- to help put things in perspective. The opportunity presented itself yesterday at Camp Ripley.

It was a cool, breezy, damp day at Camp Ripley, just north of Little Falls. The military facility opens its doors, and puts itself on display for the public every other year -- and I'm already looking forward to 2015. It was (and the men & women of the Minnesota National Guard were) that good.

The hosts were gracious and proud. Proud to show, share, and educate me as to what they do, and how they do it. They shared their tools, vehicles, weapons, and stories. Thanks to the MNG team for a great day.

Also had the opportunity to meet with our 'Veteran of the Month' Major John Donovan and his wife Leann. Very nice people.

Hard for me not to flip the bird to the protesters outside the gates of the base on my way home, but I guess the men & women of the MNG fight for their right to protest freely, so I drove by quietly and let them be.

(BTW, I tore the butt of my jeans while inside a tank. Lesson learned, next time I tour a military base I will wear underwear.)

Here are a few pics I took with my high tech, thermal imaging, heat seeking, armor piercing, high speed...iPhone:

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