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Warrior to Citizen group earns first Yellow Ribbon City designation

We've written in detail about the Warrior to Citizen group in Farmington, believing that our work with them would provide a blueprint for other communities. They've now been formally recognized by the state of Minnesota.

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On Dec. 5, Farmington mayor Kevan Soderberg and U.S. Congressman John Kline joined Annette Kuyper and other organizers at a ceremony with Larry Shellito, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard, naming Farmington the first Yellow Ribbon City in Minnesota.

Farmington earned this designation through their community efforts to support veterans and military families, which include educational programs in local schools, childcare for children with a deployed parent, and a network of volunteers who help service members and their families during pre- and post-deployment transition. Their work is remarkable because it demonstrates the many resources - including new ways of looking at problems - that exist in every community. Gen. Shellito asked Farmington to help other cities develop similar programs. "You are the model," he said.

You can listen to Annette Kuyper describe the Warrior to Citizen Campaign and their efforts in Farmington in an interview with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and First Lady Mary Pawlenty on the governor's Dec. 5 radio show, or read about it in the Farmington Independent.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs