By EMILIE THIESSENStaff Writer
The city of Upsala has pledged to go “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.”
“The hardest part of a deployment is what the families actually have to go through,” 1st Lt. Blake St. Sauver told the Upsala City Council Monday. St. Sauver is the Morrison County Yellow Ribbon outreach coordinator at Camp Ripley.
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a program that provides services to soldiers and their families through community support, training, services and resources. The program does not ask for money from the city, St. Sauver said during the last council meeting Tuesday, but asks for the commitment of communities to work with soldiers and their families when in need.
“There is no direct obligation of the city itself,” he said.
St. Sauver said the program only works with the help of many skilled volunteers who help with all types of issues from babysitting, to shoveling a driveway.
By approving a resolution to support the program, the city makes a commitment to be a point of contact should an issue arise with a local service member or their family.
“The worst thing is … to tell a family that there is nothing we can do,” he said.
Upsala Mayor Rollie Johnson said it would be very important to have that connection with the program if a soldier’s family requires assistance in the area.
The Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution of support for Yellow Ribbon Community initiatives. Upsala is now one of more than 70 Yellow Ribbon communities in the state.