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    Minnesota / Croatia State Partnership Program - Soldier Story - PV2 Zhagui

    Private Freddy Zhagui

    Photo By Master Sgt. Lynette Hoke | Private Freddy Zhagui read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Hoke 

    Minnesota National Guard

    Being in the unit less than a year, the trip to Croatia came as a little bit of a surprise for the 22-year old foreign-born Hispanic Soldier from Ecuador.

    “I was back for just a few weeks from Advanced Individual Training and my unit told me I was going to Croatia,” said Zhagui. “I was excited.”

    Zhagui and other Soldiers of the Minnesota Army National Guard’s 851st Vertical Engineer Company, along with Airmen from the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th and 133rd Civil Support Squadrons and the Croatian Army Engineering Horizontal Construction Company are working side-by-side to repair and to rebuild parts of a primary school in Karlovac, Croatia.

    The project is a Humanitarian Civic Assistance project made possible by the US European Command in partnership with the US Embassy in Zagreb, Croatia. The project is expected to be complete in less than a month.

    “Zhagui is a quiet guy, but seems to have unlimited potential to whatever he sets his mind to,” said 1st Sgt. Paul Cilenski, the company first sergeant. “I chose him to go on the trip because I knew he would work hard and learn a lot while he was there.”

    The Soldiers, Airmen and members from the Croatian Army will work together throughout the week to complete the job as quickly as possible. Zhagui is one of about 30 members who will work to provide the school a renovated kitchen, locker room and staff bathrooms.

    Working at Hennepin County Medical Center as a dietary specialist, Zhagui looks forward to going back to school.

    His mom and dad were supportive of his choice to become a Soldier in the Minnesota National Guard. Knowing multiple languages has helped his acclimation to getting to know some of the Croatian words and interacting with the local people here.

    “I’ve enjoyed everything about being here, eating the food and seeing the country,” said Zhagui. Zhagui and the rest of his unit are scheduled to be back by the end of June.



    Date Taken: 06.10.2016
    Date Posted: 06.15.2016 03:59
    Story ID: 201165
    Location: KARLOVAC, HR 
    Hometown: CAMP RIPLEY, MN, US
    Hometown: MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US

    Web Views: 119
    Downloads: 0