County first with 'Yellow Ribbon' designationWashington County is Minnesota’s first county to receive “Yellow Ribbon” status from the National Guard.
By: Scott Wente, Woodbury Bulletin
Washington County is Minnesota’s first county to receive “Yellow Ribbon” status from the National Guard, recognizing its efforts to assist deployed soldiers’ families.
Guard officials announced the designation Tuesday, said Washington County Commissioner Gary Kriesel, who has been working with others on the county’s Yellow Ribbon campaign.
A number of Minnesota counties and cities are organizing military support groups as they seek the Guard’s Yellow Ribbon designation. Woodbury just launched its Yellow Ribbon campaign last month. So far only Farmington has been named a Yellow Ribbon City.
A group of Yellow Ribbon organizers is working with churches, businesses, schools and other agencies throughout Washington County to identify volunteers and resources to help a military family during a soldier’s deployment. That help could range from assisting with yard work to finding activities for children.
“We want to build this network to tie all these resources together,” Kriesel said. “So if you’re in Woodbury, there might be something Forest Lake or Stillwater is offering.”
It is not known exactly how many Washington County military families have a relative serving overseas, but there are roughly 130 families with relatives in the National Guard’s 34 Infantry Division in Iraq.
Check back for updates and see the Oct. 21 print edition of the Woodbury Bulletin for more information.