(VIDEO) Hopkins Learns About Yellow Ribbon Communities
The program creates awareness and builds support networks for service members and their families.
Hopkins council members on Tuesday learned a bit more about how they can help members of the Minnesota National Guard and their families.
First Lt. Adam J. Kedrowski, a yellow ribbon outreach coordinator for the guard, noted that guardsmen and guardswomen live in a different environment than their active-duty counterparts.
“We don’t have a Fort Benning (GA) where all of our soldiers and military families are collocated on one base. We’re all over the place,” Kedrowski said. “We’re 20,000 service members strong across 86,000 square miles. To have the infrastructure that a normal base would have to support that many people over such a wide area is just logistically impossible. But these resources do exist. The resources on a military base exist within our communities.”
The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program is a campaign aims to take advantage of these community assets by creating awareness and building support networks.
Cities that develop a sustainable action plan to support service members and their families can become Yellow Ribbon communities. Receiving the Yellow Ribbon designation takes about a year. Cities that become Yellow Ribbon communities receive Yellow Ribbon road signs as a visible sign of the communities’ support.
There are currently 31 Yellow Ribbon cities—including a couple that include multiple municipalities.
At the work session following the meeting, Councilwoman Cheryl Youakim suggested inviting stakeholders from throughout the community to sit down and discuss how to get the process started—similar to the way organizations successfully launched the Community Days of Service, which has been running since 2009.
Mayor Gene Maxwell promised to stay in touch with Kedrowski.