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State lawmaker to deploy to Middle East with National Guard unit

Sen. Zach Duckworth (R-Lakeville) is a major in the MN Army National Guard.
Sen. Zach Duckworth

One of Minnesota's state lawmakers will be shipping out soon.

Sen. Zach Duckworth, a Republican from Lakeville who represents the state's 58th district, has announced he's deploying to the Middle East with his Army National Guard unit. 

“It’s an honor to serve our state in times of need and I’m proud to wear the uniform when our country calls," Duckworth said in a news release from Senate Republicans. 

Duckworth and his wife, Carly, are expecting their third child in November, the release notes.

His mission will be "in support of military operations" in the Middle East, but no further details were provided. His exact deployment date was not specified. 

The Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus says that Duckworth first enlisted in the state's National Guard as an infantryman at the age of 17, eventually serving in Kuwait and Iraq as a platoon leader — where he received a Bronze Star Medal for his service.

He has also deployed twice in the last two years "during periods of civil unrest in Minnesota," serving most recently in Operation Safety Net, when troops were sent to the Twin Cities amid the unrest following the police killing of Daunte Wright. 

The release says he's expected to return from deployment in time for next year’s legislative session, but will "continue to fulfill his duties by remaining in touch with his Senate staff" in the meantime.

Duckworth was first elected to statewide officer last year. Earlier this year, he introduced bipartisan legislation to establish a specialty license plate for the Minnesota 100 Club, an organization that raises funds for the families of first responders. 

According to his website, he previously served as chair of the Lakeville School Board. 

 

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