“Yellow Ribbon” Campaign Attracts County’s Attention

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010 at 10:33 am

Jessica Paulson discusses the "Yellow Ribbon" campaign to the Pine County Board

The “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” campaign that is taking shape in Pine City is attracting the attention of the entire county.  The effort is coordinated by the Minnesota National Guard to assist service men and women when they return from duty and helping their families.

Jessica Paulson is the chairperson for the Pine City campaign.  She spoke to the Pine County Board on Tuesday about the work being done to make Pine City a “Yellow Ribbon” community.

“I do think in order for it to be countywide, we need more representatives from the larger cities, or even a smaller city, just so we can have a focal point,” said Paulson.  “We are going to proceed with Pine City becoming a ‘Yellow Ribbon’ city and we can also do Pine County as a ‘Yellow Ribbon’ county.”

Paulson said so far she is focused only on the Pine City effort, but said other local residents have expressed interest at recent meetings of expanding the work throughout the county.

“Right now we want to focus on Pine City, but we will not exclude anybody,” she added.

The county board unanimously agreed to support the effort.

“I think that if there is something we can do as a county to help support the troops that we are sending abroad, we should do it,” said Commissioner Steve Hallan.

The board agreed to talk with other “Yellow Ribbon” counties around the region including Washington and Isanti on how to best coordinate the efforts.

“That’s the goal, it’s not to reinvent the wheel, it’s not to reinvent something, it’s to find something that already works and bring into wherever works best,” said Paulson.  “It’s not something new, it’s not something trying to take over the Legion or VFW and what they are already doing, we are just going to encompass everybody under one umbrella.”

County Coordinator Mark LeBrun said the process might take a year.

Commissioner Hallan said speaking with local military families has given him a greater understanding of the impact left when the service men and women deploy.

“We have a National Guard Armory located [in Pine County].  Those people have been on a couple deployments already,” he said.  “They are probably going to be gone again next April, so that takes about 100 or so people out of this community and East Central Minnesota area.  That’s 100 or so families that are effected in every which way.”

Paulson is scheduled to give a presentation on the “Yellow Ribbon” campaign to the Pine City council on Wednesday.

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