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Minnesota National Guard
Faribault proclaimed Yellow Ribbon City

Faribault was proclaimed the newest Yellow Ribbon City at a Yellow Ribbon Proclamation Ceremony held at Shattuck-St Mary's School in Faribault on June 1

Minnesota-native and Shattuck-St Mary's alumni, Chief of National Guard Bureau, Gen Craig McKinley, addressed the crowd with a simple thank you

"Your efforts to recognize, honor and embrace our Service members, National Guard, reserve and active-duty alike, are nothing short of spectacular," McKinley said "My message today is simply thank you Thank you for lending a hand Thank you for setting a standard for others to emulate"

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Sen Amy Klobuchar shared a story of a volunteer she met at a "˜Serving Our Troops' event held in St Paul in February

The volunteer told Klobuchar that he volunteered because he didn't want Service members to have the same homecoming that he did There were no balloons or parades, just protestors

"When they signed up to serve this nation, there wasn't a line and there shouldn't be a line when they come home," said Klobuchar "That's what Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is about When they need a job, education or healthcare, there shouldn't be a line"

The process of becoming a Yellow Ribbon City isn't a simple one The Faribault Yellow Ribbon Steering Committee had to develop a sustainable action plan demonstrating their commitment to Service members and military families

"They have completed the 16-step process that guides them through identifying and developing resources for military families in all key areas of their community," said Director of Military Outreach, Annette Kuyper

Although the process requires significant effort, the more than 100 other Yellow Ribbon entities have proven that this program is worth the hard work

"The outward showing of support by this community eases the burden for military families, eases the transition from warrior to citizen and builds a stronger and more compassionate community," said Kuyper

The official party included, Gov Mark Dayton, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Sen Amy Klobuchar, Sen Al Franken, Chief of National Guard Bureau and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen Craig McKinley, and Minnesota Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash

June 1, 2012
Story and photos by Staff Sgt Dajon Ferrell
Minnesota National Guard Deployment Cycle Support

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