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Minnesota National Guard
Yellow Ribbon and Beyond

It's hard to believe that I have been writing this column for two years now The first one I wrote was a Memorial Day tribute of sorts to my late father-in-law, Mr Warren I wrote about how, at that time, there was a lot of talk about soldiers sacrificing so much for the rest of us who seemed not to care or even be aware of how great their sacrifices are I don't dispute this, but the soldiers are not the only ones who sacrifice, so do their families That sacrifice is not always having to cope with the loss of a loved one in war It's having to continue to live life while they are away and also when the soldier returns sometimes "not as nature made them, but as war left them" to quote Bob Schieffer

I know someone who is doing something to help His name is Paul and he is the president of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Washington County (Minnesota) Network Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a federally funded program created by the Minnesota National Guard People living near or on military bases have relatively easy access to certain resources, those resources are harder to find where no base is present Beyond the Yellow Ribbon was created to organize community support so that all military families would have the support they need regardless of residence Originally focusing on returning veterans, it became clear to the organizers that support needed to start before deployment continue through the deployment as well as after It was also clear more than the spouse and children of a soldier's family need help, Extended family such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings are also included as they are also affected when a family member is deployed (I think I have this right, I'm sure Paul will correct me if I don't) While started by the Minnesota National Guard, this program serves members of all branches of the military

Paul has been sharing stories with us at Toastmasters and at the after meeting coffee that some of us attend He talks about several women gathering for coffee to talk about BTYR One of the women who attended has a daughter that had just joined the Marines and who needed someone to talk to who would understand as well as information Also attending were two women who had sons who happened to be Marines and were able to provide her with the information she needed as well as the support of someone who understands

He also told of a woman whose husband was clearly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Where could she go to get help for him and herself? She went to her boss He went to his wife, who is involved with BTYR, who contacted the National Guard Help arrived soon after Things will get better

Counties, cities and businesses can gain Yellow Ribbon status by finding out what resources they have and organizing them into a network with input from the National Guard, law enforcement, veteran's organizations and other parties One very important thing is that the plan must be sustainable The need is going to be there for a long time and organizations desiring Yellow Ribbon status must understand that they are in for the long haul

I wish that something like this had existed when my father-in-law came back from Europe after World War II He had honor and respect from his family as the war hero he was, but was one of those who came back "not as nature made them, but as war left them" After the parades and such were over he was still a very troubled man whose wife left him with two young boys to care for He worked in the cotton mills and did his best He got some help from his mother who came to live with him for a short time It was a difficult life and a chaotic childhood for the two boys Maybe something like BTYR would have helped We'll never know and there's no time machine to go back and fix things

What can be done is to support all those who are in active duty now and their families We have your back and we thank you

( I want to thank Paul for giving me the information I needed to write this I took the stories off his blog, "Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Stories")

This column is dedicated to the memory of my father-in-law, Mr Warren You are loved You are missed
This is for all the veterans out there who fought and died, who fought and lived and to those who are still fighting

Posted by Sophie Story at 5:44 AM
Monday, May 31, 2010
 

Article source
http://wspworld.blogspot.com/2010/05/yellow-ribbon-and-beyond.html



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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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