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Minnesota National Guard
Spring Lake Park to move forward with process to become a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon city

Last week the Spring Lake Park City Council unanimously voted to move forward with an effort to support military families throughout the deployment cycle and beyond

The city will begin the process of becoming a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BTYR) city According to the BTYR website, the program was established by the Minnesota National Guard and is supported by Gov Tim Pawlenty It provides services, training and resources to service members and their families Farmington, Hugo, Stillwater and Woodbury have been proclaimed BTYR cities, and about 20 other cities are vying for that status

Mayor Bob Nelson first expressed his interest in Spring Lake Park becoming a BTYR city at the Feb 1 council meeting He said when Soldiers return from war they face challenges, such as the job market, and the program also makes sure families of Soldiers who are deployed are treated fairly

During the Feb 16 council meeting, Kraus-Hartig VFW Post Commander Don LaCroix explained the program is made up of volunteers, so the city of Spring Lake Park wouldn't be responsible for any funds The mayor, Councilmember Barb Carlson, and groups such as the VFW, lions club, churches and businesses will attend a training event to coordinate efforts They will develop an action plan that would be submitted for review, and if approved, it would be forwarded to Gov Pawlenty for proclamation

LaCroix provided examples of ways in which businesses and individuals could participate in the program He said an automotive service and repair shop could sign a statement that says they won't take advantage of a deployed Soldier's family member and provide business at a specific rate

Also, a community member could volunteer their time if the wife of a deployed Soldier needs someone to watch her children while she's at the grocery store

Councilmember Carlson said she wants to be part of a program in which citizens, families and businesses help those who have done so much for our freedoms

Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010 7:56 AM CST
Article source: http://mnsun.com/articles/2010/03/03/spring_lake_park/news/sp25council.txt

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