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Redwood Falls Proclaimed a Yellow Ribbon City

Posted on August 07, 2014 at 11:55 AM
Categories: Greater Minnesota, Veterans, Military Servicemembers


Redwood Falls is now recognized as a Yellow Ribbon city.

Redwood Falls, Minnesota was recognized as a Yellow Ribbon city during the Yellow Ribbon Proclamation ceremony today, August 7, 2014. The Yellow Ribbon Recognition Program pays tribute to communities and companies with an exceptional record of caring, commitment, and compassion for service members, veterans, and their families through various programs and public works.

"The men and women of the Minnesota National Guard, other U.S. Forces, and their families, have earned our admiration and appreciation," said Governor Mark Dayton. "They have also earned our continuing assistance. I thank the Redwood Falls community for joining nearly 300 Yellow Ribbon cities, counties, and businesses, who have committed to support our Minnesota heroes, when they return home."

Because of the efforts of the people of Redwood Falls, service members, veterans, and their families enjoy peace of mind knowing they have the appreciation, love, and support of people in Minnesota and the nation.


Cargill Recognized as a Yellow Ribbon Company

Posted on July 09, 2014 at 3:16 PM
Categories: Military Servicemembers, Jobs, Veterans

Governor Dayton recognizes Cargill as a Yellow Ribbon Company
Governor Dayton recognizes Cargill as a Yellow Ribbon Company

Minneapolis-based Cargill was recognized as a Yellow Ribbon company during a Yellow Ribbon Proclamation ceremony at Cargill’s Whitney MacMillan Auditorium in Hopkins, Minnesota on July 9, 2014. 

The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Proclamation recognizes the combined efforts of key areas within a company to support service members, veterans and military families and enable successful transition into the workplace for those who are returning from deployments. 

“The men and women of the Minnesota National Guard, other U.S. Forces, and their families, have earned our admiration and appreciation. They have also earned our continuing assistance,” said Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. “I thank Cargill for joining over 200 Yellow Ribbon cities, counties, and businesses, who have committed to support our Minnesota heroes, when they return home.” 

In addition to the proclamation, Cargill re-signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Statement of Support, further solidifying their commitment to supporting the service members Cargill employs.


Commonsense Reforms for Minnesota Veterans

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans, Jobs, Public Safety, Military Servicemembers

Nearly 400,000 military veterans call Minnesota home. We are proud to have them. Our veterans have bravely answered the call to service. From the Battle of Gettysburg to Iraq and Afghanistan, Minnesotans have fought to protect our country and our freedoms. Many of Minnesota’s veterans don’t stop serving when they leave the military either.

In 2013, Governor Mark Dayton signed new legislation to help our veterans make the transition. The new reform makes it easier for active duty service members to transition into jobs on the police force. The bill allows military service members to take a police officer reciprocity exam while they are on active duty. Previously, service members were only allowed to take the reciprocity exam after they were honorably discharged. This change allows men and women in the Armed Forces to move into civilian service without a long delay in employment.


The Pink Tank Project

Posted on October 08, 2013 at 1:41 PM
Categories: Health, Military Servicemembers

You can find more Pink Tank Project videos on the Minnesota National Guard's YouTube page here

To build breast cancer awareness for all women, the Minnesota National Guard has launching the Pink Tank Project this month for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"Improving wellness in our service members aligns with our priorities and the Pink Tank Project assists in keeping us a competent and ready force," said Army Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, Minnesota National Guard's Adjutant General.

"This project is to build breast cancer awareness for all women whether they wear the uniform or not," said Army Maj. Kristen L. Auge, Minnesota National Guard's Deputy Director of Public Affairs. "The Pink Tank Project is a promise - a promise to yourself to conduct monthly self-breast exams and have mammograms as recommended by your health care provider."

"Three women with ties to the Minnesota National Guard and whose lives have been forever changed by breast cancer are featured in this project," said Aug?. "Throughout the month, their stories and a special breast cancer awareness video will launch on the Minnesota National Guard's Pink Tank Project webpage."


Defending the Dedicated: Better Supporting Minnesota’s National Guard Members

Posted on July 19, 2013 at 9:02 AM
Categories: Military Servicemembers

National guard family
Photo Credit: Minnesota National Guard.

Roughly 14,000 Minnesotans serve in the Minnesota National Guard. As part of their service, they commit one weekend a month plus an additional two weeks during the summer to the guard. To reduce cost of service, Minnesota and local governments offer public employees serving in the National Guard 15 days of paid military leave each year.

Recently some municipalities have begun requiring their employees serving in the National Guard to take all their paid military leave prior to using any unpaid leave. For state and local employees working a typical Monday through Friday week this doesn’t have any impact on their family budget. 

However for police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical technicians who work overnight or on the weekend they may be forced to use all their paid leave early in the year. This has created a situation where our public servants and National Guard service members then are forced into a financial hardship during their two weeks of active duty service. 

To better support our state and local employees serving in the military, Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL legislature clarified the state law. Going forward, local governments won’t be allowed to require National Guard members to take their paid leave first. The new law allows employees to spread their paid and unpaid leave throughout the year so they don’t endure any severe financial hardship.

Simple clarifications like these are just another way Governor Dayton is working to help the women and men serving in Minnesota’s National Guard. Members of our National Guard sacrifice their time for all of us – they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their family’s financial wellbeing too. 


Honoring Those Who Serve

Posted on July 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Categories: Military Servicemembers, Veterans

National Guard Honor Guard

Photo Credit: Minnesota National Guard. 

Providing military funerals is one way we show our gratitude to those who, in times of war and peace, have faithfully defended our country. This year, Governor Mark Dayton and the legislature provided new funding for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs’ funeral honor guard.

In recent years, funding for the honor guard has wavered. In 2011, the guard wasn’t funded and was only continued by shifting resources from other Veterans Affairs’ resources. Veterans regularly cite the funeral honor guard as one of the top benefits of military service making continued support for this program all the more essential.


Veterans Best Candidates for Business Ownership

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM
Categories: Military Servicemembers, Jobs

This post originally appeared on the Minnesota Department of Economic Development DEED Developments Blog on July 11, 2013.

DEED representative, Mark Tessmer, speaks with a veteran.
DEED representative, Mark Tessmer, speaks with a veteran.

Veterans tend to be the best candidates for starting new businesses.

“They‘re disciplined, they understand technology, and they know how to get the job done,” said Mike Ryan, director, Minnesota Small Business Development Center at University of St. Thomas.

Owning a business has been an attractive option for veterans because they can have more control over their lives, be able to reap more of the rewards from their work, and make independent decisions.


Aiding the Afflicted: Supporting Military Families during Periods of Grief

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 10:43 AM
Categories: Military Servicemembers, Veterans

Our military families are strong and resilient, but sometimes their strength may cause us to overlook their sacrifice. Minnesota’s service members and military families endure for us all, which is why Governor Dayton remains committed to ensuring they are never forgotten.

In 1917, George Seibold was killed flying with the 148th U. S. Aero Squadron over Europe. His mother, Grace Darling Seibold, was stricken with grief. Rather than allowing her pain to become destructive, Grace founded the Gold Star program to support other mothers whose sons had lost their lives in military service. Eventually, this group of mothers met not to only comfort each other, but also to lavish loving care to hospitalized veterans confined in government hospitals far from home.

Today, the program comforts all relatives of men and women killed in action. Each summer, these military families are able to spend a weekend at Camp Ripley in Little Falls to honor, remember, and celebrate the heroism and lives of their loved ones. 

The retreat has grown each year from 70 attendees in 2008 to 180 in 2012. And each year there are family members who attend for the first time, even though the loss of their service member may have occurred long ago. 


Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs Launches New and Improved Website Design

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Categories: Veterans, Military Servicemembers

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a newly redesigned website       

Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a newly redesigned website.

In our continuing effort to be in the forefront of providing the best service and care to our state’s Veterans, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a newly redesigned website. Nearly 370,000 Veterans call Minnesota home and they can now access information through this comprehensive and exciting new resource at

Partnering with Roseville Based consulting firm, High Monkey, MDVA created a clear and user friendly website that offers assistance with requesting discharge papers, resources on employment, health & disability, burials, information on the five State Veterans Home, the GI Bill, and other legislative developments.

“This website provides a vibrant, seamless view of our department and the resources available to Minnesota Veterans. This is just another example of how we’re committed to making Minnesota Government better for Veterans who served, as well as those who continue to serve. The end result of our new MDVA website was based largely on feedback from our stakeholders - the Veterans we serve - alongside extensive research and testing that has brought us to this unveiling,” said Larry Shellito, MDVA Commissioner.

The new website also features a “State Veteran Homes” section that provides information about the five state Veteran Homes that provide nursing care and domiciliary services. This section includes virtual tours, services offered, admission details, facility history, and how families can get involved.

The improved website will be accessible by using the URL of and the official state website address

Results Minnesota: Improving the Health of Minnesotans

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM
Categories: Health, Public Safety, Military Servicemembers, Veterans

Photo of exhaust coming from retrofited school buses equiped with diesel oxidation catalysts and closed crankcase filtration systems

The MPCA is a major partner of Clean Air Minnesota’s Project Green Fleet (PGF). Since it began in 2005, PGF has worked with school districts and school bus fleet operators to retrofit buses with Diesel Oxidation Catalysts and closed crankcase filtration systems.

After two years in office, Governor Mark Dayton is continuing to make important progress toward building a Better Minnesota. 

One crucial measure of that progress is improving the health of Minnesotans, which is essential to a high quality of life in Minnesota.  Governor Dayton is pursuing a variety of strategies to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities across our state, including increasing access to high quality, affordable health insurance and promoting strong community health programs.  The Dayton Administration is focused on improving the quality of life for all Minnesotans, and lowering the cost of health care in our great state of Minnesota.

In the Spotlight

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has worked to reduce diesel emission in school buses, snowplows, fire trucks, and other large vehicles.  Emissions retrofits on school buses alone have improved air quality for nearly 85,000 kids in 91 school districts statewide.

In 2012, MPCA focused on reducing diesel emission in long-haul semi-trucks.  At current fuel prices, retrofits made to 282 vehicle engines, and reduced idling on 155 trucks, will save trucking companies $600,000 each year in fuel costs. Health benefits derived from these emissions reductions are estimated to total $123.5 million.


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