| Beyond the Yellow Ribbon helps recognize military men and women
No matter what your position on the wars, we honor the warriors this Veterans Week.
Gone are the days, thank goodness, when warriors who returned from the Vietnam War were greeted shamefully.
Now, communities across the state are organizing Beyond the Yellow Ribbon units, designed to organize their resources and to help military families in every way possible, particularly those recently deployed or returning from deployment.
These families and those returning from deployment face challenges adjusting to civilian life and to their families.
The National Guard particularly is involving Yellow Ribbon units to help their members adjust to civilian life.
One challenge for those who have organized Yellow Ribbon units is locating the families who need the help and are reluctant to ask for it. Due to privacy laws, their military units are not able to provide those names.
The hope of Yellow Ribbon units is that if organized, families will come forward.
So, this is an appeal to military families to come forward if you need help and your Yellow Ribbon community will go out of its way to assist you.
There also is a State Yellow Ribbon web site for guidance.
A Yellow Ribbon community has to develop a comprehensive strategic plan to be certified by the state. A steering committee writes the plan and follows it up after state certification. That plan has key areas of city leadership, veterans organizations, K-12 education and youth programs, public safety and judicial, business and employers, faith based, medical, social services and volunteer groups.
Yellow Ribbon organizers are finding that initially families are asking for little things: repairing, fixing pluming and electrical problems, mowing lawns, painting houses, caring for children.
One example is a mother who needed help to move from her home in St. Cloud to her parents’ home in Brooklyn Park; 17 Yellow Ribbon members helped her.
Annette Kuyper, director of military outreach, says so many veterans feel alone and isolated and now Minnesota has Beyond the Yellow Ribbon networks to support them.
At first, the program began to help National Guard members and was expanded to include all members of the military and veterans.
Now when the warriors come home from the war, they are welcomed, not spat upon, in part because Yellow Ribbon communities have come together to help and to thank those who have sacrificed much for our country.
November 5, 2012
Don Heinzman is a columnist and editorial writer for ECM Publishers, Inc.
Home Town Source
148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Conduct Winter Training
Posted: 2014-03-09 12:00 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- With winter winds blowing steady, and wind chills hovering at 30 degrees below zero, 21 members of the 148th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) took over parts of Camp Ripley, Minn., in a four-day combined drill. Led by Capt. John Christenson and Chief Master Sgt. Ryan Gunderson, the Airman of the 148th SFS took part in advanced weapons and tactics skills training while utilizing state-of-the-art weapons and vehicle simulators, as well as a large assault village.
During the period of Feb. 27 - March 2, the teams of the 148th SFS arrived at Camp Ripley and went straight into simulated combat using the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST 2000). Individual and squad weapons simulators allowed the members to work using M4 assault rifles and M249 Squad Automatic Weapons, overcoming combat situations as a team and handling law enforcement "shoot, don't shoot" scenarios. The group then spent two days working in the bitter, winter weather at the Combined Collective Training Facility (CACTF), a mock city set up to simulate any and all building configurations.
Social media offers many benefits, but Guard members must remain aware of its risks
Posted: 2014-03-06 10:10 AM
ARLINGTON, Va., (3/6/2014) - The use of social media has made it easier for many to stay connected to friends and family. It often provides the opportunities to give near instant communications via text or images and can help ease stresses when Service members are deployed. The benefits of social media are nearly endless and often far reaching.
"Social media spreads news faster than any other media," said Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, the senior enlisted advisor for the chief, National Guard Bureau, on his Facebook page, adding "it empowers us to effect change and do good on a community, state, national or even international level."
133rd Airlift Wings Snow Birds Fly South for a Training Exercise
Posted: 2014-03-06 05:06 AM
Yuma, Ariz.- Airmen from the 109th Airlift Squadron and 133rd Airlift Wing make use of warmer temperatures to accomplish six-months of airdrops and other annual training requirements in a six-day time period in Yuma, Ariz., during Mar., 1, 2014.
The training provided a wide range of unique challenges that can't be reproduced in Minnesota. For the flight crews, the skies over Yuma Proving Grounds introduced unfamiliar terrain and high aircraft traffic volume. For the traditional Airmen, they were exposed to training beyond the normal Unit Training Assembly weekend. In addition, the newer Airmen had to adapt to the quick turnaround between the day and evening flights.