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Minnesota National Guard
Blaine Yellow Ribbon kick-off event April 26

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 2:40 pm by Tim Hennagir
Life Editor

Blaine is seeking a Yellow Ribbon Community designation to help develop a community support network for local military service members and their families

A kick-off event to explain the city’s participation in the program has been scheduled for 6 pm Tuesday, April 26, at Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Station No 3, 11920 Ulysses St

“Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” cities are asked to draft a sustainable action plan, which is submitted to the Minnesota National Guard for review and Gov Mark Dayton for final approval and issuance of an official proclamation

Mayor Tom Ryan is spearheading the city’s effort

Last November, Ryan and City Manager Clark Arneson met with representatives from the Minnesota Army National Guard to discuss the “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” program

This program supports military families by connecting service members and their families with community support, training, services and resources to assist them during the deployment cycle

Additionally, the program pulls together community leaders on many different levels to create a comprehensive action plan to assist in addressing the needs of spouses and children throughout the deployment, reintegration and eventual homecoming of the military service member

“I just want those in the service to know to know when a husband or spouse leaves, there’s going to be somebody to fix the toilet, mow the grass or shovel them out in the winter” Ryan said “I go to the St Cloud Veterans Administration Medical Center for treatment, and you seem the impact of the current war You see families and the kids there, and it’s bad We need to find a recently returned veteran to speak at our April 26 event People need to hear this story”

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon strives to create awareness within a community, as well as support the nation’s military

There is no cost to the city of Blaine to participate in the statewide program, which relies heavily on volunteer resources, support and training to help local service members and their families

Blaine’s initial event April 26 is for community leaders and anyone interested in learning more about participating in the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program

Attendees will be broken out into their specific markets (businesses, clergy, elected officials, etc) for a brain-storming session led by a Guard professional

For more information about Blaine’s Yellow Ribbon effort or the Tuesday, April 26 meeting, contact Rebecca Olson, 763-785-6120 or rolson@ciblainemnus

Tim Hennagir is at timhennagir@ecm-inccom

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