St. Paul - A Minnesota soldier who addressed demonstrators in St Paul Monday drew applause and asked for hugs after his short speech to the crowd.

The soldier was identified as Lt. Colonel Sam Andrews of the National Guard.

The Minnesota National Guard Tuesday morning released an update on its presence and activity in the Twin Cities in response to the George Floyd unrest.

The MNG released this statement:

The Minnesota National Guard conducted more than two dozen missions across the Twin Cities last night. Capitol Complex Security was one of those missions, and guardsmen found themselves serving as allies to all peaceful protestors.

Master Sgt. Acie Matthews, Equal Opportunity Advisor for the Minnesota
National Guard, was offered the opportunity to speak to the crowd of nearly
200 that had gathered. Matthews shared his hope for peace, common ground and
unity between citizens of Minnesota.

"Together as Minnesotans, we're going to get through this difficult time,"
said Minnesota's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen. "I would like to
thank the community for supporting our efforts to restore order and preserve
the right to safely and peacefully protest."

The National Guard is committed to supporting civil authorities until no
longer called to do so. "Our capabilities will not diminish as we identify
opportunities to return our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen to their home
communities," said Jensen.

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