| 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
Local rails get Guard to mission
Posted: 2015-07-02 01:09 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Across the state of Minnesota, more than 4,500 miles of active railroad track is used to move material, equipment and passengers - an extension of a system which started on May 22, 1857.
"Burlington Northern - Santa Fe Railway has a rich history supporting our military, reaching back to the Civil War. Today BNSF still works closely with the Department of Defense to coordinate movement of large equipment by rail, including to and from Camp Ripley, near Little Falls," said Amy McBeth, a spokesperson for Burlington Northern - Santa Fe.
In addition to three classifications of railway systems, the federal government identified a system of railroads for the purpose of moving government equipment to support the defense of the United States.
851st Vertical Engineer Company Raises the Roof
Posted: 2015-07-01 08:49 AM
RACINOVIC, Croatia -Members of the 851st Vertical Engineer Company, in conjunction with the Croatian Army and United States European Command, have partnered together to help the small village of Racinovic, Croatia.
The area was hit last year by disastrous flooding that destroyed many of the homes and farms. The closest dam broke, leaving the area under many feet of water and nearly everyone stranded and forced to evacuate.
The Office of Defense Cooperation and Humanitarian Civic Assistance Program helped provide labor, supplies and the people for communities in need all over the world. For this particular project, more than 30 Minnesota National Guardsmen have joined forces with their Croatian counterparts to rebuild the roof of the community center in less than three weeks.
Minnesota National Guard participates in Pride Festival
Posted: 2015-06-30 09:49 AM
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - In observance of LGBT Pride Month the Minnesota National Guard's 347th Regional Support Group hosted a booth at the Minneapolis Pride Festival in Loring Park, June 27-28, 2015, with volunteers from the 147th/247th Financial Management Support Detachments.
According to tcpride.org, "Twin Cities Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Minnesota corporation that brings the greater LGBT community together to commemorate our diverse heritage, foster inclusion, educate and create awareness of issues, and celebrate achievements in equality."
For many onlookers at the festival, there was an element of surprise with the Minnesota National Guard's presence, but it didn't take long for the outpouring of appreciation and support from the community.
Large-scale exercises test 1/34th ABCT
Posted: 2015-06-29 08:42 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - In a simultaneous fashion while rolling up to the firing line, Soldiers man the crew-served and main gun weapon systems onboard their M1A1 Abrams tanks and identify targets at Camp Ripley Training Center on June 16, 2015 - the first drill of its kind for some Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division.
"While my gunner is firing on a target, my tank commander is engaging a truck using his .50 cal., and I see rounds flying from our wingman who's engaging a tank way out there," said Spc. Ted Coy, an Abrams driver with 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment. "Seeing all the tracer rounds cross while our platoon is firing at different targets at the same time is one of the coolest things I've ever seen."
The gunnery and maneuver exercise that Coy and his platoon conducted was one of the many integrated training events the 1st ABCT has been conducting during its Exportable Combat Training Capabilities exercises - a training period spanning from May 2015 to August 2015.