Mural left behind in Camp Buehring by an unknown engineering unit (2019 photo by Eric Strand)

Camp Buehring is a long way from Minnesota. Grafted onto the middle of the Kuwaiti desert, the base heats up to 125 degrees or more in the dry season and gets drenched by six-inch floodwaters in the rainy season. For Sgt. Eric Strand, a former finance soldier with the Minnesota National Guard, it was also a boring place to spend a deployment — until he took a long hard look at the twelve-foot high concrete walls surrounding him.

The walls, called Texas barriers or T-walls, are resistant to rocket and mortar attacks, making them a ubiquitous protective feature on the U.S. military bases that have sprung up around the world as part of the Global War on Terror. T-walls also make for great canvases, as evidenced by the countless service members who have painted vivid murals on the barriers in the years since the Global War on Terror began.

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Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) hold folded flags before military funeral honors. (U.S. Army/Elizabeth Fraser)

The Minnesota National Guard has released the names of the three soldiers killed in Thursday's helicopter crash.

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A UH-60 Black Hawk departs from The Rock while conducting Medevac 101 training with members of the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group, Feb. 16, 2019. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

(Reuters) - A Black Hawk helicopter went down in central Minnesota on Thursday, killing all three soldiers on board, after it lost contact with the Minnesota National Guard during a maintenance test flight, Governor Tim Walz said on Thursday.

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