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Minnesota National Guard
Roseville area cities kick off Yellow Ribbon programs

More than 50 community members from surrounding cities gathered together at Roseville’s Yellow Ribbon Kick-Off event May 10, 2011 Elected officials from Roseville, Maplewood, Shoreview, Arden Hills and Falcon Heights want to work together to support military families

“It’s not just the men and women who put on the uniform,” said Roseville councilmember Tammy Pust “It’s the families that are the backbone”

Maj Jeff Bibeau, who lives, teaches history and commands a Minnesota Army National Guard unit all in the Roseville area, shared his story at the meeting He has been deployed twice in the last eight years and said he felt very supported by his community

“When I finally returned home I was formally welcomed at the annual district wide meeting,” said Bibeau “Later I was asked to say a few words and cut the ribbon at the opening of the High School’s new football stadium  These honors show the incredible support the Roseville area provides to their Soldiers”

By beginning the process of becoming a Yellow Ribbon entity, community members role up their sleeves and develop a plan to infuse support to Service members and military families throughout all areas of the community 

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This summer the effort to build networks of support for military families is statewide This week alone four events are being held, starting the process of making Yellow Ribbon communities Wadena, Northfield and St Paul hosted open houses and Roseville and Moorhead had kick-off events

If nothing else, the meeting in Roseville left WWII Veteran Curt Moline inspired The morning after the kick-off he connected with the Roseville VFW to become a more active member

“This campaign reminds me of Michael Ellison’s Law of Awareness: Somewhere around you is someone or something to help you fulfill your life’s purpose,” Moline said “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is certainly on the right track  We need to wake up our society to the sacrifices our troops and their families have made  We must give them more than a nod on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, our entire community must wake up and share the burden”

Yellow Ribbon Events will be popping up on calendars around the state all summer long Upcoming events include: Litchfield Open House on May 21, Chisholm/Hibbing Kick-Off Event and the Coon Rapids Kick-Off Event both on May 25

For a complete list of events visit wwwBeyondTheYellowRibbonorg

Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Melanie Nelson
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
May 5, 2011

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