More from the Homepage
Staff Directory 10644526

Mark Brunswick

Reporter | Military Affairs
phone: 612-673-4434
Mark Brunswick covers military affairs for the Star Tribune. He has had assignments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo and has focused on domestic issues related to PTSD, returning veterans, military recruitment and the new role of women in the military. Previously, he covered state government and politics from the Star Tribune's state capitol bureau in St. Paul.
Recent content from Mark Brunswick
Alternate PTSD therapy ruffles VA feathers, but shows results

Alternate PTSD therapy ruffles VA feathers, but shows results

EMDR, which uses sensory stimulation to connect to triggers from trauma and neutralizes them, is getting results, according to a local nonprofit that offers it to vets.
State sues fundraiser for veterans' charity, alleging deception

State sues fundraiser for veterans' charity, alleging deception

Minnesota is suing its fundraising arm for deceptive practices.

Fund helps vets misled into using their GI Bill benefits

Four veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars recently were awarded $5,000 grants to help pay down student loan debt they racked up while attending…
Obituary: Robert Schumacher was a 'judge's judge'

Obituary: Robert Schumacher was a 'judge's judge'

From the value of the land of the Minnesota Twins stadium to disputes in lawsuits over Catholic clergy abuse, Robert Schumacher had a…
Push is on to restore, reopen bridge to Minneapolis Vets Home

Push is on to restore, reopen bridge to Minneapolis Vets Home

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is asking the Legislature for $7.8 million to redesign and renovate the closed bridge from 1908.
Suit alleges false claims, high-pressure tactics by for-profit schools

Suit alleges false claims, high-pressure tactics by for-profit schools

But the attorney for Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business painted a different picture in opening statements of a civil trial in Hennepin County District Court.
Suicide hits hard among ranks of Minnesota National Guard

Suicide hits hard among ranks of Minnesota National Guard

A father's despair over his son's death in Iraq drives home a crisis for the Minnesota National Guard, whose members have died by suicide more than all but one state Guard in the country in the past five years.
New flight plan for Duluth fighter wing

New flight plan for Duluth fighter wing

The Air National Guard's 148th will be on a "routine deterrence mission" in South Korea.
Sad state of Minnesota armories prompts a multimillion dollar plan

Sad state of Minnesota armories prompts a multimillion dollar plan

The Minnesota National Guard is closing 12 dilapidated armories as it upgrades facilities.
Minnesota veterans' kayaking program offers safe haven, camaraderie

Minnesota veterans' kayaking program offers safe haven, camaraderie

The group provides access to the programs throughout the year but uses the Edina pool every other Friday during the winter, providing a challenging but safe haven for veterans who might prefer one another's company away from the institutional surroundings of the VA.
Pengilly man's military legacy is restored after break-in

Pengilly man's military legacy is restored after break-in

Thieves took more than medals when they broke into Pengilly cabin.

Minneapolis VA cleared in three cases of alleged manipulation of patient appointments, wait times

Inspector general clears Minneapolis VA Health Care System in three cases.
Minnesota National Guard is working to diversify its ranks

Minnesota National Guard is working to diversify its ranks

After promotion, Sandy Best says she looks forward to day when it's commonplace.

Minneapolis VA plans Shakopee town hall

Minneapolis Veterans Affairs officials plan a town-hall meeting March 17 in Shakopee. The meeting is scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m. at the American Legion…
First female general in Minnesota National Guard announced

First female general in Minnesota National Guard announced

Col. Sandy Best will become the first female general in Minnesota National Guard history when she’s promoted to brigadier general, the Minnesota National Guard confirmed…
St. Cloud canine explosive detection company picking up local business

St. Cloud canine explosive detection company picking up local business

Dogs trained to detect bombs and drugs now in demand to fight domestic terror.
Obituary: Aveda chemist Patrica Peterson Werre had the right mix of talent, drive

Obituary: Aveda chemist Patrica Peterson Werre had the right mix of talent, drive

Patricia Peterson Werre loved the periodic tables. She had a blanket of the elements, a poster of them in her office and a coffee cup…

Criticism of Wounded Warrior Project hits home in Minnesota

One of the largest Minnesota contributors to the nonprofit Wounded Warrior Project says he will continue to support the charity despite news reports suggesting it…
St. Paul has been found violating state law for hiring veterans

St. Paul has been found violating state law for hiring veterans

Applicant was wrongly denied preference for hiring in a repeat offense.
Privacy violations on the rise at Minnesota's VA facilities

Privacy violations on the rise at Minnesota's VA facilities

The club seems to be getting bigger: veterans whose privacy has been breached by employees and contractors at VA hospitals, community clinics and benefit centers.
Federal immigration office will relocate to downtown Minneapolis

Federal immigration office will relocate to downtown Minneapolis

New location for Citizenship and Immigration Service offices will be downtown Minneapolis.
When words don't work, arts program can help heal veterans

When words don't work, arts program can help heal veterans

St. Paul-based program offers a new way to reach trauma victims.
Wayzata grad killed in Afghanistan is remembered for her discipline and quiet consistency

Wayzata grad killed in Afghanistan is remembered for her discipline and quiet consistency

Former Plymouth resident Adrianna Vorderbruggen was among six members of the American military killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Monday.
Minn. congressional delegation urges VA secretary to tour St. Cloud VA

Minn. congressional delegation urges VA secretary to tour St. Cloud VA

State's Congress members want him to show support for staff and patients.
Driver hurt in crash that ends St. Anthony police pursuit in St. Paul

Driver hurt in crash that ends St. Anthony police pursuit in St. Paul

Two people were injured Saturday afternoon after being involved in a high-speed police chase in a suspected stolen car. Two squad cars from the St.…

Calendar of fallen soldiers a labor of love and duty

Patricia Boyd has made it her mission to make sure Minnesota’s fallen military members are not forgotten. For several years she’s been the leader behind…
Oh, yes, she can! Dayton changes rule to allow state worker to volunteer for Red Cross

Oh, yes, she can! Dayton changes rule to allow state worker to volunteer for Red Cross

State employee had been barred from using leave for special counseling gig.
Corrections Dept. doesn't consider counseling vets disaster relief

Corrections Dept. doesn't consider counseling vets disaster relief

When therapist Shelley Koski sought approval from her bosses to use leave for a Red Cross workshop for returning veterans and their families, the department said no.
Edina Boy Scout goes beyond call of duty to help vets

Edina Boy Scout goes beyond call of duty to help vets

Teen who collected 150 bags of dry goods for local veterans is storing the bags in his basement until a local nonprofit can accept his donation.
Veteran not guilty in killing; Mankato jury blames battle trauma

Veteran not guilty in killing; Mankato jury blames battle trauma

Jurors agreed with Levi Minissale's lawyers, who claimed his service in the Marines and the "kill" mentality he learned pushed a man with history of psychosis to stab ex-girlfriend to death and attempt to kill her husband.
Obituary: Sharon Olson was a pinup model for famed glamour artist Gil Elvgren

Obituary: Sharon Olson was a pinup model for famed glamour artist Gil Elvgren

When Sharon Olson walked into a room, the place went quiet. Described as a “stunning blonde,” she was the model for pinup artist Gil Elvgren’s…

Job fair for veterans planned for Earle Brown Heritage Center

Disabled American Veterans and RecruitMilitary have scheduled a career fair for veterans at the Earle Brown Heritage Center on Thursday. The event is scheduled from…

For-profit colleges face more Defense Department scrutiny

  The Pentagon has placed restrictions on the University of Phoenix’s recruiting of new students from the armed forces as authorities investigate whether the school…
Obituary: Rev. Noah Smith, 107, Wayman AME pastor

Obituary: Rev. Noah Smith, 107, Wayman AME pastor

It may have taken him awhile to get started, but the Rev. Noah Spencer Smith, who was 52 when he was ordained as a minister,…
Tensions at St. Cloud VA result in call for federal mediation

Tensions at St. Cloud VA result in call for federal mediation

The acrimony became apparent during a closed-door meeting with workers and management Friday afternoon with U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer and Tim Walz.

Police investigate death of soldier in Hibbing armory

Hibbing police are investigating the possible suicide of a Minnesota National Guard soldier whose body was found Monday in the Hibbing armory. The Minnesota National…
Minnesota VA official accused in scheme over $129K in expenses

Minnesota VA official accused in scheme over $129K in expenses

A local Veterans Affairs official is accused of financial misdealings for arranging to have herself transferred from the East Coast to St. Paul, keeping a higher rate of pay for a lower level of responsibility and claiming $129,000 in moving expenses.
New London parents fulfill dream of fallen soldier with Ryane Clark memorial parking lot

New London parents fulfill dream of fallen soldier with Ryane Clark memorial parking lot

Sunday's dedication comes after 12 years of bureaucratic battles.
Mpls. VA shuts down surgeries over unidentified substance

Mpls. VA shuts down surgeries over unidentified substance

Move comes after 'unidentified substance' is found in sterilizing equipment.

Billboards blast Minneapolis VA as part of national campaign to 'shame change'

The signs are part of his solo campaign to "shame change" and bring criticism to light.

Hennepin Gallery exhibit focuses on vet suicides

  The 8030 Project, a veterans’ suicide awareness project, was created as a community participatory public art project to raise awareness of the estimated 22…

2 Minn. Guard members, one former soldier plead guilty in recruiting fraud case

They admit sharing $2,000 bonuses with uniformed recruiters for deceptive enlistments.
Watchdog report critical of St. Cloud VA was quietly shelved

Watchdog report critical of St. Cloud VA was quietly shelved

It supported claims of poor staffing, hostile work conditions but was kept from public.

Minn., Wis. veterans face big charges for years-old, unbilled co-pays

Minnesota’s congressional delegation, led by Rep. John Kline, is fighting a Veterans Affairs directive that found veterans suddenly being billed for co-payments that were as…
Service dogs for veterans with PTSD get closer look

Service dogs for veterans with PTSD get closer look

The use of service dogs has been well-established for people with visual, hearing or physical disabilities, but there are hurdles to overcome for vets.
Mobile charity steps in to offer relief to veterans who are hurting

Mobile charity steps in to offer relief to veterans who are hurting

Group rolls into church parking lots and shopping malls with state-of-the-art technology offering free treatments, such as muscle and nerve therapy and spinal balancing.
[Test] Override template

[Test] Override template

A BATTLE WITH PAIN, PART TWO: The VA is kicking veterans off of pain medications in favor of alternatives such as yoga and acupuncture, but it isn't keeping up with the demand.
Obituary: Swami Veda Bharati's spiritual influence extended to thousands across the globe

Obituary: Swami Veda Bharati's spiritual influence extended to thousands across the globe

Swami Veda Bharati began teaching yoga at the age of 9. He was a founder of the Meditation Center in Minneapolis, and his spiritual influence…

In wake of Tenn. shootings, Dayton says arming all Guard soldiers is up to feds

Tennessee shootings highlight security concerns; several states OK arming full-time members.
Grantsburg, Wis., loses one of its own in Chattanooga shooting

Grantsburg, Wis., loses one of its own in Chattanooga shooting

Sgt. Carson Holmquist, a native of Grantsburg, Wis., who had served two tours in Afghanistan, was killed in Thursday's attack on a Navy operational center in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Marine from Wisconsin was killed in Chattanooga attack

Marine from Wisconsin was killed in Chattanooga attack

GRANTSBURG, Wis. -- A picture of Carson Holmquist in his Marine uniform was already hanging on the Hall of Honor at Grantsburg High School, one…
The new goal at the VA: Treating the root causes of veterans' pain

The new goal at the VA: Treating the root causes of veterans' pain

A BATTLE WITH PAIN, PART TWO: The VA is kicking veterans off of pain medications in favor of alternatives such as yoga and acupuncture, but it isn't keeping up with the demand.
Cut off: Veterans struggle to live with VA's new painkiller policy

Cut off: Veterans struggle to live with VA's new painkiller policy

A BATTLE WITH PAIN, PART ONE: VA doctors freely handed out pain medications to veterans for years. Then they stopped. The results have sometimes turned tragic.
VA's new goal: Treat pain's root causes

VA's new goal: Treat pain's root causes

As the VA shifts to alternatives like yoga and acupuncture to treat pain, it's not keeping up with the desperate demand from veterans.
Cut off: Veterans struggle to live with VA's new painkiller policy

Cut off: Veterans struggle to live with VA's new painkiller policy

VA doctors freely handed out pain pills for years. Then they stopped, with results that have sometimes turned tragic.

Hennepin County's Veterans Court celebrates five years of operation

Hennepin County’s Veterans Court, the first in Minnesota, celebrates five years of operation next week. A morning in the Veterans Court is unlike that in…
Surplus military equipment brings police security, misunderstanding, headaches

Surplus military equipment brings police security, misunderstanding, headaches

White House limit on the use of some military equipment for police may sound more ominous than it is.
University of Minnesota trains new nurses to tend to veterans

University of Minnesota trains new nurses to tend to veterans

For the first time, the University of Minnesota School of Nursing is graduating a group of nurses skilled in tending to the health needs of the nation's veterans.
Obituary: Orthopedic surgeon D. Keith Millett dies at 93

Obituary: Orthopedic surgeon D. Keith Millett dies at 93

Whether it was making late-night house calls or accepting chickens as a form of payment, Dr. D. Keith Millett was the kind of doctor seldom…
Minnesota kids are too fat to fight, retired military leaders say

Minnesota kids are too fat to fight, retired military leaders say

A group of retired generals and admirals says Minnesota's kids are too fat, eat too poorly, and don't get enough exercise to qualify to join the military. They're calling for more physical education classes, better school meals and more community fitness trails to get kids in fighting shape.
40 years after Vietnam, veteran from Ramsey faces one last battle

40 years after Vietnam, veteran from Ramsey faces one last battle

Larry Stigen finally got VA benefits for PTSD; now he is fighting his discharge status

23 pairs of combat boots at Capitol to carry anti-suicide message

A group of veterans advocates is planning to bring 23 pairs of combat boots to the State Capitol next week.It's estimated that 23 veterans a…

Globe University, Minnesota School of Business close controversial criminal justice program

Criminal justice students say they have been left in the dark about their futures.
Obituary: Engineer Ross Jordan tinkered with Apollo space program, home inventions

Obituary: Engineer Ross Jordan tinkered with Apollo space program, home inventions

Ross Jordan was an engineer in every sense of the word: whether it was working on the Apollo space program at Honeywell, coming up with…
'Vetrepreneurs:' More veterans start their own businesses

'Vetrepreneurs:' More veterans start their own businesses

Vets are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed.
No. 11: Willmar man masquerading as an Army hero may trade uniform for prison garb

No. 11: Willmar man masquerading as an Army hero may trade uniform for prison garb

Richard Arthur Rahn is behind bars, charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Local authorities are forwarding their investigation to a federal prosecutor for possible action over fraudulent use of a military uniform, insignia or medals.

Military beat: Dangers abound for soldiers deploying to Ebola-stricken Liberia

Some lessons about what members of the Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division might expect during their deployment to Ebola-stricken Liberia next year, courtesy of…
VA inspector general will investigate claims about Hibbing VA

VA inspector general will investigate claims about Hibbing VA

The VA's inspector general to study alleged appointment irregularities at request of state's congressional delegation.
Elected leaders meet with Hibbing VA workers over scheduling concerns

Elected leaders meet with Hibbing VA workers over scheduling concerns

Ex-workers air complaints of hostile work environment, schedule backdating.

Military beat: Short films about Iraqi refugees in the Twin Cities to premiere

A series of short documentaries about Iraqi refugees in the Twin Cities is scheduled to be shown next week. Local filmmaker Nate Fisher has collaborated…
Minnesotans in Congress seek probe of Hibbing VA clinic allegations

Minnesotans in Congress seek probe of Hibbing VA clinic allegations

Inspector general probe would investigate scheduling irregularities at a Hibbing VA clinic.
Liberia-bound Minn. soldiers will have 21-day monitoring

Liberia-bound Minn. soldiers will have 21-day monitoring

As an extraordinary precaution, members of the Minnesota National Guard who are scheduled to deploy to Ebola-stricken Liberia early next year will be subjected to a 21-day period of observation when they return, with their temperatures taken twice a day and doctors monitoring them for symptoms.
Ex-employees at Hibbing VA say they backdated appointments

Ex-employees at Hibbing VA say they backdated appointments

Former employees at Hibbing clinic said they were told to change appointment dates to meet the 14-day rule.
Obituary: Jane Noland wrote 'bear books' to inspire those recovering from addiction

Obituary: Jane Noland wrote 'bear books' to inspire those recovering from addiction

Expressing herself, whether in books or in song lyrics, came naturally to Jane Noland.That ability translated itself into writing, editing or collaborating on more than…
Pentagon puts Globe U., Minn. School of Business on probation

Pentagon puts Globe U., Minn. School of Business on probation

Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business are barred from taking some military tuition assistance pending investigation.
More from Star Tribune