Three Soldiers who have each served 20 years in the North Dakota Army National Guard retired this month. They were honored for their achievements with certificates and a plaque, as well as letters from political and military leaders.
Staff Sgt. Brian L. Landsem, of West Fargo, served with Company B of the 231st Brigade Support Battalion. He joined the military May 19, 1990.
Staff Sgt. Scott C. Slaaen, of Fargo, also served with Company B. He has been in the military since Oct. 23, 1989, and ended his military career working as a machinist.
Sgt. Robert E. Ruud, of Fargo, served with Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 231st Brigade Support Battalion. He joined the Guard Dec. 16, 1989, and deployed to Iraq from 2003-05. Ruud retired as a motor transport operator. He works for North Dakota State University and is the son of Elden and Peggy Ruud, of McVille.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,400 soldiers and nearly 1,800 airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about 850 North Dakota guardsmen are serving overseas.
With a total force of about 4,400 soldiers and airmen, sufficient forces remain in the state for emergency response and homeland defense.