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Minnesota National Guard
Organizers work to make Albert Lea a Yellow Ribbon City

Published 1:11pm Saturday, April 2, 2011

The final pieces of a plan aimed at making Albert Lea a Yellow Ribbon City were finalized Friday with the signature of the city’s mayor

The plan, which includes support from city leadership, various businesses, medical providers, church leaders, school officials, volunteers and others, will nexat be sent to Gov Mark Dayton for final approval

Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen, right, signs a document Friday at City Hall asking state officials and the governor to approve Albert Lea as a Yellow Ribbon City Looking on are John Severtson, left, chairman of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee and Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Dahlen -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

“We’re excited to get to this step,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Dahlen of the Delta Company

Organizers have been pushing for the action for more than a year but have started working more diligently on it in the last three weeks They hope the designation is made final before the deployment of about 100 soldiers of the Albert Lea Minnesota Army National Guard unit in May

Local military leaders said in a previous interview that when soldiers are deployed and they know that the community is watching out for their families they are better able to focus on their tasks and not become distracted on a mission

A Yellow Ribbon City is one that has a delegated action plan in place to support and take action to help service members and their families

Dahlen said he did not know how long the approval process takes

Local Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign Chairman John Severtson said now that the basic organization for the program has been founded, there will more than likely be subcommittees formed under the regular committees to deal with specific events

Severtson said Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is looking for additional volunteers as well

At 7 pm May 7, the committee will host a dance at the Albert Lea National Guard Armory to seek support for the program

Look to the Tribune for more about this program in future editions of the newspaper

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