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Minnesota National Guard
Governor honors Stillwater as Yellow Ribbon City

Now the work begins

STILLWATER - After receiving recognition from Gov Tim Pawlenty for Stillwater's participation in the state's "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" efforts, the City Council got ready to do the actual work that goes with the honor

At the Jan 5 meeting, council member Mike Polehna thanked fellow council members for being on hand earlier that day at a ceremony at Century College in White Bear Lake The governor and the Minnesota National Guard honored several businesses and three Washington County cities, including Stillwater

"Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" is a statewide initiative in which cities, organizations and businesses assist local members of the armed forces serving overseas and their families Support includes providing help at home while family members are deployed as well as a framework to support returning troops as they return to the community

In his proclamation, Pawlenty urged city leaders not to forget the enormous burden of family members whose loved ones are in harm's way defending the nation He noted that Stillwater is a city that supports military members and spouses in a way that gives peace of mind and support of the community

Polehna, who chaired Yellow Ribbon efforts in Stillwater, said it was an honor to be one of the first five cities in the state to be recognized

With members of the 34th "Red Bull" National Guard Infantry Division returning in February, city officials have already started planning ways to welcome them home

Because many Soldiers returning from deployment to Basra, Iraq, have missed one or more hunting seasons, they are invited to a pheasant hunt March 14 at Wild Wings of Oneka, Polehna said The city is looking for businesses or individuals to help support the hunt or sponsor a Soldier Polehna is hoping for 100 hunters with 76 troops signed up so far The Yellow Ribbon network needs to raise another $5,000 to make the hunt available for 100 returning Soldiers, Polehna said Those interested in donating should access wwwcistillwatermnus

City officials also started the process of posting one or more welcome home banners in downtown Stillwater to welcome area troops as they return

Now the real work of supporting the troops who "have been away for a year sacrificing for us" start, Mayor Ken Harycki said

by Loretta Harding
Contributing Writer

Thursday, January 14, 2010 2:32 PM CST

Article source: http://presspubs.com

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Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

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