Sunday, January 18, 2009

Yellow Ribbon City, Farmington, MN 

MN has a number of soldiers serving overseas, including members of the MN National Guard. Since 73% of active duty members and their families live off base within civilian communities, Governor Tim Pawlenty gave a local branch of the MN National Guard a directive to ensure ongoing support for service members and their families, across all military branches.

Today, Farmington was honored as Minnesota's first Yellow Ribbon City because of their efforts supporting its military men and women and their families. Farmington established the first "Warrior to Citizen" program, in the nation. Their goals are:
1 - Organize support for families of deployed soldiers
2 - Educate the community about soldiers before, during and after deployment
3 - Recognized all service members and families within the community
The event at the Farmington American Legion celebrated and thanked those who made the program possible. Minnesota's Nation Guard, Adjutant General, Larry Shellito spoke as did Congressman John Kline of MN's 2nd Congressional District. Annette Kuyper, the driving force behind the success achieved in Farmington, was recognized.

Why is support needed? For every 200 of us, there is one active US soldier. Often, people don't know anyone with a soldier in the family because many soldier families are integral parts of their communities. But when their family member is deployed overseas, support is needed: in general and in reaction to the often rude, inaccurate, and nasty press coverage.

The Yellow Ribbon programs, including this initiative by Congressman Kline to provide support for soldiers returning stateside from deployment across the USA, make a difference in the lives of our soldiers and their families. We owe all of them a debt of gratitude for standing up for what is right, protecting our freedoms, and that of our posterity.

(If interested in starting a "Warrior to Citizen" program, please contact AnnetteKuyper @

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