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Wadena-based troops awarded

by Steve Schulz,


Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, the guest speaker at Wadena's Memorial Day ceremony, broke a little news while he was in town.

Shellito reported the local unit, the 2-136 Combined Arms Battalion, based at the Wadena Armory, recently won a Meritorious Unit Commendation. But he was secretive about what mission earned the unit the award.

"Some of the things I can't even talk about," Shellito said, "but this is, no kidding, good stuff. This is not candy people just pass out. This is an earned unit commendation."

The Iraq-based unit has been deployed since the fall of 2004.

"Your sons and daughters have been performing extremely well," Shellito said.

Shellito, who was himself based at the Wadena Armory at one time, is the adjutant general in charge of all of Minnesota's 13,000 National Guard troops. He spoke Monday as part of Memorial Day services locally.

For more on the Memorial Day ceremony and Shellito's comments, see page 9.