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Minnesota National Guard
Statewide Joining Community Forces - Minnesota events provide support for communities and military

Joining Community Forces ST PAUL, Minn - "Each year Joining Community Forces events strengthen the synchronization of effort across the state in sharing resources and building partnerships in support of military-connected residents" said Minnesota National Guard Director of Military Outreach, Annette Kuyper

Registration closes Wednesday, April 15, for both afternoon and evening meetings that are scheduled for Albert Lea on April 23; Alexandria on April 30; Willmar on May 7; Cloquet on May 14; and Richfield on May 20

"These meetings are important to the Yellow Ribbon Networks because it allows them to learn about how other communities are connecting with Service members, veterans and military families as well as how to connect with resources they can tap into to support them," said Kuyper

In addition to networking and sharing best practices, a different keynote speaker will be at each Joining Community Forces - Minnesota event providing a glimpse into why supporting our military community is so important

In Albert Lea, Gold Star Mother Jill Stephenson will be sharing her story of losing her only child - a US Army Ranger who deployed three times in the Global War on Terror - and the legacy he left saving lives after his death as an organ donor

In Alexandria and Cloquet, retired Army Col Terry Branham will share his story about how his faith got him through three deployments in hostile combat zones

In Willmar, retired Air National Guard Chief Master Sgt Steve Campos will share his bird's eye view of how to sustain Yellow Ribbon programs and best practices he's used as former Washington County Yellow Ribbon Network chair, and also a current member of three Yellow Ribbon Networks

In Richfield, Brock Hunter, co-founder and president of the Veterans Defense Project, a non-profit dedicated to advocating and educating for veterans in the justice system, will share what inspired him to help veterans

Kuyper has been working with the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program and Joining Community Forces since their inception, and she is still inspired by what the program brings to communities

"We have been able to partner with volunteers and service providers to meet the needs of Service members, veterans and military families across the entire state," said Kuyper

To register for any of the meetings click here

April 14, 2015
by 1st Lt Melanie Nelson
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs



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