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Minnesota National Guard
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon supports vets, families


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Jan Apitz at the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Summit in White Bear Lake on Jan 5
When she was invited to go down to the Twin Cities for a summit on the "˜Beyond the Yellow Ribbon' program, Jan Apitz didn't know what to expect

"I wasn't sure what I was getting into; I wasn't sure at all," said Apitz

But Apitz, who helped to organize the annual Pine City candlelight vigil for veterans at the American Legion, soon learned enough to decide that this was something Pine City needs to do

According to a group flyer, the purpose of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is to train and empower the community to support military service members before, during and after deployments

Apitz said that a big part of the program is to help the families of Soldiers serving abroad

"The Soldiers that are deployed overseas, we can get their driveway plowed, or their sidewalk shoveled," Apitz said "If something goes out in the middle of the night, [the families] have someone they can count on"

She pointed out that the Soldiers have enough to worry about overseas without concerns about their families' well-being distracting them from their mission

Apitz said that at the program, "one of [the Soldiers] said, "˜I was over in Iraq and the plumbing went My wife was emailing me, "˜What should I do?''"

The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program is also geared to help Soldiers returning from war find their feet on their home soil Employers are encouraged to hire those who have served Apitz also suggested that veterans be assigned to help out those returning home

 "For somebody coming back, we need another serviceman, or somebody who's been over there, or in another war " somebody who has adjusted, who can help them adjust," she said

Apitz said that 150 people came out for the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon workshop Farmington was recognized for being the first Beyond the Yellow Ribbon city in Minnesota Closer to home, Isanti County has been declared a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon county

The next organizational meeting for Beyond the Yellow Ribbon in Pine City is scheduled for Thursday, Feb 4

For more information, or to get involved, contact Mayor Jane Robbins or City Planner Nathan Johnson at city hall at 320-629-2575

By Mike Gainor
13 Jan, 2010

Article source: http://www.pinecitymn.com/detail/52760.html



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