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Minnesota National Guard
Thirty organizations earned Yellow Ribbon status at Summit

Farmington, Minn " Governor Tim Pawlenty and Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, the adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, presented 18 Yellow Ribbon proclamations to Minnesota cities, counties and companies representing nearly 30 entities at the Yellow Ribbon Summit on Wednesday at Boeckman Middle School in Farmington

The entities receiving Yellow Ribbon proclamations proved their worthiness of the designation by holding training events where they developed a detailed Yellow Ribbon action plan and conducted various events that benefited Service members, their families and veterans

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Duluth (one of the cities receiving a proclamation) Mayor Don Ness said, "This designation reflects commitment to continue to expand the support and services we can offer"
Among the many admirable acts performed by the newly proclaimed Yellow Ribbon entities, the Lakeville Yellow Ribbon network and Lake Elmo Yellow Ribbon network provided shining examples of what distinguishes a Yellow Ribbon network

The Lakeville network helped a resident who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan by arranging daycare for his two young sons, providing support and meals to his wife and parents and put together a plan to take care of their house so the family could go to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to be with their loved one

Lake Elmo lined their streets with "Support our Troops" flags in their initial Yellow Ribbon awareness campaign This simple act led to hundreds of phone calls into Lake Elmo City Hall from people expressing their gratitude for the support of local Service members

As Yellow Ribbon entities, the cities, counties and companies will be a part of the 41-strong statewide Yellow Ribbon network that honors and supports past and present Service members through acts of volunteerism and events The idea of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Maj. Gen. Shellito said, "is going to be the future of our state and the future of our nation"

The proclamation ceremony had hundreds of guests in attendance including representatives from each Yellow Ribbon entity, the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and civilian organizations that support the military The ceremony capped an eventful day that included a presentation about Yellow Ribbon communities for students of Boeckman, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter visit for students with a connection to someone in the military and Yellow Ribbon training events for over 80 military and community leaders throughout the state

In Dec 2008, Pawlenty proclaimed the first Yellow Ribbon City, Farmington, Minn The city of Farmington was the first to build and embrace an action plan that detailed how they would support Minnesota Service members and their families It was a fitting location for the Yellow Ribbon Summit Farmington Mayor Todd Larson welcomed the guests to the morning training while their volunteer network assisted with many parts of the day to include; the registration table, the color guard and by serving refreshments

The Master of Ceremonies for the Proclamation Ceremony was Tom Lyons His company, Faelon Partners LTD in Golden Valley, was honored with a Yellow Ribbon Company Proclamation in January 

As the Yellow Ribbon Campaign continues to grow city by city, one relationship at a time, it still focuses on supporting Service members and their families throughout the deployment cycle

 To learn more about Beyond the Yellow Ribbon visit, wwwBeyondtheYellowRibbonorg

Story and photos b y Spc Miles Eakins
Deployment Cycle Support Public Affairs
Minnesota National Guard
22 Sep 2010

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