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Minnesota National Guard
Blaine will seek Yellow Ribbon City status

City officials announced last week Blaine will seek Minnesota National Guard Yellow Ribbon status The program provides a support network for military families

Mayor Tom Ryan and City Manager Clark Arneson met in November with guard representatives to discuss the program

The Blaine City Council Dec 2 unanimously approved a resolution supporting the program

In a memo to the council, Arneson reported that 27 cities, counties and organizations currently have been proclaimed Yellow Ribbon Cities throughout the state

Arneson said there is no cost for the city to participate in the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign, which is specifically designed to increase the awareness of the challenges service members and especially families face as a result of deployments

The Yellow Ribbon campaign asks counties, cities, companies, churches, campuses and K-12 schools to support military families in their immediate community
Participating cities initially form a committee, which drafts a sustainable action plan, which is submitted to the Minnesota National Guard for additional review and the governor for final approval and issuance of an official proclamation

The Minnesota National Guard program empowers community leaders to synchronize their assistance efforts throughout a particular deployment

Ryan has spoke with Blaine-based Aveda Corp
representatives and said the company would represent business on the planning committee

“They [local members of the military] have been terrific for this country and I think we need to remember who they are,” Ryan said “Once these people leave [as part of a deployment] their families, wives and children are forgotten We need a committee to come forward with ideas of how we are going to support them locally”

Councilmember Katherine Kolb, a teacher in Independent School District 15 in St Francis, said she’s directly observed the impact of a deployment by watching her students

“You are surprised how many are going,” Kolb said “Every year, I’ve had a least one student [in class] who has had a parent gone and many of them are on their second or third deployment You would be surprised how many are impacted”

Kolb was in favor of a resolution in support of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, but it would be important for the community to come together and carry the program forward after councilmembers got things rolling, she said
“I think it should be like Blaine’s Blazin’’ 4th, where the community comes together and does it,” Kolb said “I think we have to be careful how much we [as a council] get involved because it could take a lot of time I still think it’s awesome”

Councilmember Wes Hovland said groups such as the Patriot Guard should be contacted, as well as VFW and American Legion posts in Blaine and around the area “They can offer a lot and provide a lot of support,” Hovland said

Arneson told the council a city kickoff workshop is one of the first tasks associated with a community’s involvement in a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign

“I don’t think it will be hard to put together a committee,” Ryan said “Spring Lake Park is already in this We are 60,000 people We should be in it”

Tim Hennagir is at timhennagir@ecm-inccom
Friday, December 10, 2010 7:01 am
by Tim Hennagir
Life Editor

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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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