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History
Minnesota National Guard
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
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Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council

Posted: 2017-04-24  10:43 AM
Holocaust Museum Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.

"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."



Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline

Posted: 2017-04-19  02:15 PM
Funeral Honors CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.

Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.

"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.



Chaplains support Muslim Soldiers by finding common ground

Posted: 2017-04-18  01:42 PM
Chaplain Shabazz ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.

"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."

There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.



Howling with pride - Minnesota Service members honored by MN Timberwolves

Posted: 2017-04-14  04:25 PM
Timberwolves ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.

"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."

Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.



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