Spc. Bryan Meek, 25, of Eyota,Minn. locks the crate he's packed with personal items to take on his deployment to Kuwait last summer. Meek is among the 39 percent of deploying soldiers who leave behind at least one dependent child or spouse. In his crate are pictures and mementos that remind him of his wife and newborn baby. (MPR Photo/Elizabeth Baier)
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Nearly 3,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers are scheduled to return from deployments in Afghanistan and Kuwait over the next three weeks. But a rule change by the Defense Department will leave returning soldiers with significantly reduced paid leave.
Because of the change to the military's post-deployment leave program, Minnesota Guard soldiers now serving overseas will receive a few weeks less paid leave than they were told they'd get when they deployed. That's about a month's pay lost, not to mention less time to spend with families before returning to their civilian jobs.
Lt. Col. Matt Vatter of the Minnesota National Guard will join The Daily Circuit Monday to discuss the change for the returning soldiers.
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