Minnesota City, County Networks Gather to Support State’s Military Community

MEDIA ADVISORY: For Immediate Release
May 10, 2023

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – Almost 100 individuals representing the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon community networks in cities and counties across Minnesota will attend the annual Joining Community Forces event on Friday at Camp Ripley to share best practices in supporting military veterans, service members, and their families.

“Our Citizen-Soldiers, Airmen, veterans, and their families have a symbiotic relationship with the local communities where they live and work,” said Army Lt. Col. Joseph Sanganoo, Minnesota National Guard’s family programs officer. “Their individual resiliency, readiness, and success as units in defense of our country and our freedom correlate with, and is reliant on, local support from their neighbors, employers, civic organizations, public safety, educational institutions, clergy, and medical providers.”
This year’s Joining Community Forces, or JCF, theme is “Growing Together.”

“The number of communities, companies, and organizations in Minnesota that support military families is incredible,” said Kacie Stanek, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources military outreach representative, chair of Grand Rapids Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, and a military spouse. “JCF events always leave me with an overwhelming feeling of unity and support.”

The JCF event includes guest speakers, resource booths, lunch, a panel discussion, group activity, and awards. Through its community and corporate partnerships, the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, also known as BTYR, provides veterans, service members, and their families in all military branches a wide range of support, including deployment readiness, family assistance and resources, youth programs, educational and career opportunities, and more.

Editor’s Note: Media members are invited to the conference at 8:30 a.m., Friday, May 12, at Camp Ripley’s Hangar Conference Center, located at 15000 Highway 115, Little Falls, Minn., 56345. Media should RSVP to Cristina Oxtra at (763) 349-2047 or Cristina.F.Oxtra.nfg@army.mil. Visit BTYR at https://MinnesotaNationalGuard.ng.mil/btyr.

About the Minnesota National Guard –
Established in 1856 and headquartered in St. Paul, the Minnesota National Guard has more than 13,000 Soldiers and Airmen who serve in 58 communities across the state. The Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard are ‘Always Ready’ to fight the nation’s wars, protect the country, respond to state emergencies, and contribute to local communities. For more information about the Minnesota National Guard, visit https://MinnesotaNationalGuard.ng.mil.