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Minnesota National Guard
Farmington plays host to Yellow Ribbon Summit

Thirty entities, including Lakeville, proclaimed Yellow Ribbon cities by Gov Pawlenty at summit Farmington, the first Minnesota city to be named a Yellow Ribbon City, played host to the first Yellow Ribbon Summit on Wednesday, Sept 22, at Boeckman Middle School

Counties, cities and companies were recognized for their ongoing support of service members and military family members, including Lakeville and Dakota County Technical College

Hundreds showed up to the event where more than 30 entities were officially given a Yellow Ribbon designation

“Their action plans demonstrate a commitment and understanding that they are suited to support their military families today and into the future,” said Annette Kuyper, event organizer and state director of military outreach

Gov Tim Pawlenty spoke during the proclamation ceremony

“I am really proud that Farmington was the first Yellow Ribbon City,” he said, noting that Farmington and Lakeville recently offered support to one military soldier’s family after he was injured

The Yellow Ribbon networks were tested when Farmington graduate Kyle Malin lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan Both communities rallied around the family to support his parents, who live in Lakeville, and his wife and two children

“The family was encircled with people who cared,” Pawlenty said

Tim O’Driscoll, mayor of Sartell, said his city has been a Yellow Ribbon city for two and a half years in the Central Ribbon Beyond the River Consortium, which includes nine cities in central Minnesota

Sartell hosted a videoconference in December 2009 that gave 120 deployed service members the chance to see and talk with family members

“We have been able to network and serve the families in need … and it is easier on paper than practice,” O’Driscoll said

Farmington Mayor Todd Larson said it was an honor to be recognized as the first Yellow Ribbon City in 2008, but it was a greater honor to host the summit

Proud to have Annette Kuyper as its local leader of the Farmington Warrior to Citizen – a community support group for military members and families – Larson said Farmington has now become a role model across the state

Businesses, civic groups, churches or citizens can get involved as volunteers or work to form a Yellow Ribbon Network by contacting Kuyper at (651) 282-4002 or visiting www.beyondtheyellowribbon.org

Pawlenty said all Yellow Ribbon Networks are working toward one common goal, and that is to “minimize the pain for service members and their families while addressing all the challenges”

“We want to provide care and support for individuals and our communities … because there are incredibly-brave heroes who raise their hand and put their life on the line for our country,” Pawlenty said

Challenging the state to respond, Pawlenty said, “We all have to look in the mirror and say, ‘What can we do?’”

Kara Hildreth is at farmingtonthisweek@ecm-inccom
by Kara Hildreth
Thisweek Newspapers
Posted under Farmington, Lakeville, News, This Week in Dakota County on Thursday 23 September 2010 at 6:29 am

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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
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"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."

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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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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."

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Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
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Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

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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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