Talk about timing. More than 1,000 members of the Minnesota Army National Guard's 34th Red Bull Infantry Division will begin returning to Minnesota, with four separate groups scheduled to arrive about 5 p.m. Sunday.
After being gone a year, the last thing on anyone's mind is a football game. Families will be reunited after 12 months of being in a combat zone. Boys and girls that left a year ago will return as young men and women. Privates will return as new sergeants. Some will have seen the elephant. All are returning to a different world than the one they left behind.
Although I am a rabid Vikings fan (just young enough to have been spared the memory of Superbowl defeats) I would have had no interest in watching the Vikings within the first few hours of my return home. And even if I had come home during an important playoff game, the Pink 6 (military jargon for a soldier's wife) would have grabbed me by the ear had I tried to check the score during the first few hours home.
The soldiers will be bused to armories in Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights and Stillwater. With any luck, TVs will be nearby.
With any luck there will be no TV or radio within 500 meters of the armories. Record the damn game on Tivo or an old fashioned VCR and watch it later.
And for the final touch of a reporter who either watches too much TV or just rushed to get a story out, there is this-
If you go, either desert camouflage or Vikings purple and gold apparel is suggested.
The US military hasn't worn desert camouflage (tan and brown) since late 2004. And the only colors that should be intentionally worn for returning soldiers are red, white and blue.
Welcome home Red Bulls!