Beyond the Yellow Ribbon committee has a busy week

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon-Monticello steering committee members had a busy week getting ready to welcome home the 257th Military Police Company.
More than 400 yellow ribbons were tied in town and along the route the unit will travel when it rolls through Monticello Thursday afternoon. Welcome home organizers asked the public to line the unit’s anticipated point of entry and route through town to the Monticello Community Center.
“I handed out over 100 posters but I have no idea how many were  downloaded online,” said Michele Hertwig, steering committee member and owner of MAJIRS! Advertising and Design.
The committee met Monday night to finalize its plans for the 257th Military Police Company’s welcome home celebration.
The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon-Monticello steering committee meets the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Academy Room at Monticelllo City Hall.
“We have just finished our action plan and will be submitting it to the director of military outreach (DMO) and the Yellow Ribbon Recognition Program Review Board for approval,” Hertwig said.
The BTYR program provides a network of resources and volunteers to assist soldiers and their families as they serve our country.
“Our mission is to develop a Yellow Ribbon Network that will unite, honor and embrace those affected by military deployments,” she said. “Actively showing support will help to enable a successful transition all the way home.”
At a higher level, a Yellow Ribbon County unites key areas and communities throughout a county to create a comprehensive network that connects and coordinates county-level agencies, organizations, resources and employers for the purpose of proactively supporting service members and military families.
A Yellow Ribbon County connects and supports communities to provide support at the local level.
The 257th arrived at Fort Bliss, Texas, March 23 and completed its demobilization process after arriving. The 257th Military Police Company partnered with the Afghan National Army to support operations in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom during its overseas deployment, said Capt. Troy Hyland, who commands the company.
According to Hyland, the main focus of the unit’s demobilization process during its recent stay at Fort Bliss was decompression.
The 120-plus members of the 257th Military Police Company left Minnesota May 28, 2012, for training prior to their overseas deployment. According to a Minnesota National Guard Operation Enduring Freedom unit overview background sheet, the unit conducted operations in the northeastern part of Afghanistan.
Sgt. First Class Dennis Galvin is the 257th Military Police Company’s non-commissioned officer in charge. He flew to Fort Bliss to assist the unit with its de-mobilization process.  “I am the full-time staff behind NCOIC and did not deploy with the unit,” Galvin stated.
The unit completed numerous medical and dental exams, mountains of paperwork and counseling re-employment, education benefits, medical benefits and re-integration during its stay at Fort Bliss.
According to Galvin, the 257th arrived at the St. Cloud Regional Airport Thursday afternoon at approximately 1:30 p.m. at the secured Minnesota National Guard Aviation Facility.
The public wasn’t  allowed to greet unit members there. Buses transported unit members to the Monticello Community Center.

Contact Managing Editor Tim Hennagir at tim.hennagir@ecm-inc.com

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