| 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
Minnesota DNR and National Guard combat wildfires
Posted: 2015-05-29 08:48 AM
With a Department of Natural Resources Air Attack operator in a helicopter pointing out the targets, two Minnesota Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters assaulted a series of controlled grass fires this month at Camp Ripley.
The DNR and the National Guard have been training together with live fires since 2001, but for the first time a DNR Enforcement helicopter is being used to direct the Black Hawks to their targets. The DNR helicopter is ideal for serving as an aerial supervision platform, guiding the Black Hawks.
"This cooperative effort is an excellent example of a partnership designed to improve firefighting efficiencies, as well as contain air support costs," said Capt. Tom Buker, DNR Enforcement Division chief pilot.
Camp Ripley sets the stage for major training exercise
Posted: 2015-05-28 12:33 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, are taking part in a mass training exercise integrated with the Army's eXportable Combat Training Capabilities from May 15, 2015 through Aug. 18.
"The exercises organized by First Army are to help prepare units for rotations at major training centers to ensure mission readiness," said Capt. Brett Farniok, projects officer at Camp Ripley.
The eXportable Combat Training Capabilities, or XCTC, program provides soldiers with an experience similar to real-life missions. XCTC is a command and control as well as a field-training instrument designed to certify proficiencies in specific tasks.
Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing Practices Precision Cargo Drops
Posted: 2015-05-25 09:30 AM
In a nation struggling with war fatigue, it's important to pause on Memorial Day and recognize the Minnesotans still answering their country's call: men and women who leave their jobs and families to put on a military uniform.
Few military units have seen more activations and deployments since 9/11 than Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing -- its 1,200 members are essential to moving supplies and soldiers to wherever they're needed.
On part of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where few civilian passengers step, families feel the anxiety of separation as they say goodbye again to air crew flying far, far away.
Minnesota National Guard and central Minnesota communities honor Memorial Day together
Posted: 2015-05-22 11:44 AM
CAMP RIPLEY - Garrison staff of Camp Ripley and other members of the Minnesota National Guard will take part in events this weekend honoring those who died in service to the United States.
"As members of the local community, we are honored to participate in Memorial Day events," said Lt. Col. Chad Sackett, deputy garrison commander at Camp Ripley. "It is right and fitting that we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of those who died in service to our nation."
Minnesota National Guard members are speaking at events throughout the Memorial Day weekend. For those interested in attending a Memorial Day ceremony, here are a few of the listings for central Minnesota: