Monday, January 14, 2013

Beyond The Yellow Ribbon

Hastings Beyond The Yellow Ribbon coordinates existing programs to serve our veterans and their families. Our goal is to make it easier in directing our veterans and their families to resources already available in the community for their support. Community residents, businesses, schools, political leaders, civic, and faith-based organizations have positively influenced the lives of many.

Dean W. Markuson, 436 Tiffany Drive, Hastings, MN 55033, (651) 438-2208,

"I am a firm believer in the people.  If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.  The great point is to bring them the real facts." – Abraham Lincoln

"Tell My Sons" On Saturday, January 19, Lt Col Mark Weber, the Rosemount resident will return to Hastings, to present his book. The book signing event will be held at Pleasant Hill Library from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Any questions, contact (651) 438-0200. Related story in Local News, Hastings Star Gazette, January 10th 
United Way of Hastings is throwin' a PARTY to RECOGNIZE our incoming & outgoing Board Members. Lookin' to have a rootin' tootiin good time on Friday, January 25 at 6 pm, School House Square Event Center. Music, Hearty Appetizers & Cash Bar. Barrels and Buckets Themed Silent Auction Items. Live Auction with some FANTASTICS ITEMS. Fun Games, Dancin' and Much More, Prizes for the best dressed cowboy and cowgirl. Contact UWH with any questions, (651) 437-3337.
Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, January 29th, 2012 Spirit of Hastings Award Recipient .Dean W. Markuson
Give Kids a Smile in Hastings. Friday, February 1st, community dentists will work together in providing free dental care to kids who reside in Hastings School District and do not have access to a dentist. Services will vary; specific services will be outlined when an appointment is scheduled. Participating dental offices are Midwest Dental Association (437-7844); Hastings Dental Association (437-9812); The New Art of Dentistry (437-1166); River Pines Dental (437-5340) and River Valley Dental (437-1940). Miller Orthodontics and Twin Cities Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery provide services in partnership with the previously listed dental offices.
Hastings Military and Veteran Valentine's Day Social, February 14th 7:00 p.m. at the 2nd Street Depot Bar & Grill, 320 East Second Street, Hastings, MN. You can't beat the prices of ½ price burgers and offered specials with a five (5) dollar discount per servicemember, veteran, and spouse/significant other when proper identification is presented prior to ordering (Military. Veteran services organization membership card, or DD 214 (Military Discharge Certificate). Entertainment by the Hastings High School Music Department. 
Hastings National Guard Drill Dates, 2-3 March in Hastings
Military/Veteran Open Skate Night. 2 March, 5:45 pm – 7:00 pm, Hastings Civic Arena, 2801 Red Wing Blvd. Open to the public with a monetary or non-perishable food item to Hastings Family Services during Minnesota FoodShare Month,  Sponsored by the City of Hastings, Parks and Recreation, Civic Arena with collaboration of the Minnesota National Guard and Defending The Blue Line
Community Resource Fair Saturday, March 9th, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Hasting High School Commons Area. 200 General Sieben Drive. Veterans Services and Health Representative.
Community Meeting. 14 March, 7 p.m., Hastings American Legion Post 47, 30 Sibley St. Topics will include what it means "Take Care of My Family", "All The Way Home, and the Military/Veteran Community Picnic. Open to anyone, especially our military, veterans and families.

Military/Veterans Services-You Serve Your Country, Let us Serve You!
CHALLENGES. Servicemembers, veterans and their families face many challenges.  The mission of the community is to "Take Care of My Family" and "Bring Them All The Way Home, which extends from the cradle to the last remembrance ceremony,  "Military Honors."
Health. Accessing Veterans Affairs, health care services, benefits, obtaining entitlements through the Military Health Care System and access to community resources.
Suicide Prevention. It takes strength to ask for help. Life is full of challenges and sometimes challenges can be overwhelming. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression.  PLEASE CALL THE VETERANS CRISIS LINE at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or 911.
Employment. Department of Labor, Veterans Educations and Training System (VETS) serves America's veterans and separating members by preparing them for meaningful careers, providing employment resources and expertise, and protecting their employment rights.
Military Family Life. Reconnect and mitigate behaviors related to stress and transition.
Financial Readiness. Assistance and help with personal financial issues, including creating a budget, dealing with debt and creditors, enrolling in the Thift Savings Plan or other retirement accounts, educational funding, investing and income taxes. Free resource and services are confidential.
Veteran Services. I must say that I'm proud and greatly admire the impact of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of the Foreign Wars, Beyond The Yellow Ribbon and other service organizations. They clearly performed their mission with passion and commitment, of building better lives, fulfilling promises and bringing a better quality of life – in a very big way. I could write a long list of what I have seen, but I will spare you!  These are reasons that you should consider joining, any questions contact your local or state organization. Membership is on the mind of these organizations, they are growing and thriving. These organizations are putting resources and their efforts where they need to be. – to our Veterans and community.

Know Your Benefits
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pension program provides monthly benefit payments to certain wartime Veterans or their survivors with financial need. As a Veteran or survivor considers applying for these benefits, VA would like to share important information about the pension program and organizations offering information on VA Pension Benefits and applications. A fact sheet can be found at
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Survivors of military servicemembers may be eligible. This is a tax free monetary benefit for survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service related injury or disease.
Vietnam Era Agent Orange Exposed USN Vessels. The VA has updated (Nov 2012) its list of US Navy vessels that may have been exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. If you know anyone who served during this period please let him or her know about this updated list. The updated list may be viewed at:
Veterans Sleep Survey, St Hopkins University, the Veterans Wellness firm and Vets Advisory Board have launched a new national sleep survey of Military Veterans looking for ways to battle problems, like Insomnia or excessive fatigue. Sleep troubles are common in returning combat Military Veterans. For more information, visit:
VA Backlog VA's long-term goal is to get the processing time for disability and pension claims to an average of 90 days.

Strive for a healthy weight. Use VA's MOVE! program to help you get to and stay at a healthy weight. Find out how to sign up for and use the MOVE! Program from your VA health care team and at The MOVE! Program is tailored for your needs to: Set weight loss and healthy goals; Learn how to choose healthy foods; Do regular physical activity; Track your progress; and Receive follow-up support. Unlike competing to be the Biggest Loser on TV, you and fellow Veterans who use MOVE! are all winners!
Blood Drives. The Red Cross community seeks donors to help blood supplies in the area. Information can be found in the Hastings Star Gazette or listening to KDWA. Join the nearly 4 million dedicated Red Cross donors across the county and make an appointment to give by visiting or
call 1-800-RED CROSS.

The area Veterans Employment Representative is: Harry Ostendorf,, 952 895-7656. You are encouraged to visit to sign up for the Beyond The Yellow Ribbon newsletter. You can also access the Jobs pages from their homepage.
Dakota County Libraries has a new resource to help job seekers, JobNow. It's a real-time online resume and job interview coaching resource. Anyone with a Dakota County Library Card and Internet access can log on and connect with a carefully-screened job coach who will offer resume feedback, interview coaching and other tips. The service is available from 1-11 PM seven days a week. Coaching sessions are also available in either English or Spanish. To learn more go to and search "JobNow".
Resume Rescue. Friday, Jan 25, at 2 p.m. at the Pleasant Hill Library. Creating an effective resume is more important than ever during tough economic times. Learn how to use a resume to show a potential employee your value. Topics covered include formatting, styles, common mistakes, do's and don'ts and more. Taught by Dakota County Workforce Center staff, the class is free, but registration is required. Call the library at (651) 438-9200 to register.
Networking. Networking lunches are held on the second and fourth Monday of each month, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. G & R Nutrition, 275 33rd St W (in the strip mall next to Colburns) Lunch is available for $6. Networking is the one of the most important tools. Whether you wish to build your own small business, expand your career options or discover new career paths, networking is the tool to get you there.
Veteran Gains Retail Experience.  A Veteran gets experience stocking shelves with snack foods and answers questions from customers as part of a work experience to prepare him for regular employment. "He's learning the basic of what's expected," said ProAct  Job Developer Kailey Singleton, who also serves as a job coach. A former Marine who returned from the war in Iraq with a brain tumor, then had a car accident that left him with reduced vision. Doctors said he would live and if he did, he would walk again. He said it's important to keep trying and it wouldn't take long along for him to be on his own again. Going through hard times, people have to be able to joke about it; otherwise they'll fall into a hole and never get out. (ProAct Annual Report 2012)

Post 9/11 GI Bill. In addition to graduate and undergraduate degrees, the post 9/11 GI Bill can be used for vocational, on-the-job training, flight and technical training.
Hastings Reads now in its 7th year, happening throughout the community helps encourage reading from preschool to adults. Reading helps us make meaning of our experiences and other experiences. This year's theme is "It's a Dog's Life" Events include a visit from author Garth Stein, book clubs, story sharing, family events, book discussions, Rio Gran trick dogs, and a visit by Charlie Johnson (author of Emmy of Whistling Well Farm) and Emmy.
Local Scholarships. Apply now for local scholarships for the graduating senior class of 2013. Between 80 – 100 seniors who graduate this spring will receive scholarships from businesses organizations, individuals, non-profits, churches and memorial funds some are $1.000 in monetary value, with the largest $7,500. While perhaps of greater value to the recipient is a blessing in being honored of being subject for distinct recognition and the encouragement from the Hasting area citizens.

Community Support Systems
A complete listing can be obtained from DARTS, Hastings Senior Center, United Way of Hastings, Hastings Family Services, in the Hastings Star Gazette "Bulletin Board-Meetings" or go to the Hastings Chamber of Commerce website:
360 Communities Alcohol Alzheimer's Support
Better Breathers Cancer Caregivers
Cohn's U Colitis Communications Caregivers
DARTS Depression Diabetic
Disabilities Education Emergency Services
Employment Family Services Gamblers Anonymous
Grief Health Investments
Leadership Meals MOMS /MOPs
Memory Loss MS Narcotics
Parkinson's Prayer Recreation
Relaxation Restorative Justice Spiritual
Total Life Transportation Vision Loss
Weight Youth

Miracles Happen Here!
"If God's in your dream, no request is too extreme."
After seven years of construction, 45,000 hours of volunteer labor, donations from 12 states and 1000 people getting involved, this $5 million dollar Miracle is now a reality. The 27 room Lodge is located on the property of the Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch. A 200-acre, non-profit started in 1976 is now serving over 24,000 people annually. It is home to OPERATION WELCOME HOME and the NATIONAL WHEELCHAIR SPORTS CAMP. It also serves as a retreat and conference center for adults. Its mission is to spread JOY and change lives. 2013 Dates: "New – Military Family Winter Weekend," February 1-3, "Operation Welcome Home for Couples," Aril 26-28 and Sep 13-15 and "Wounded Warriors/Disabilities," May 9-11.

Auto Body Collision Repair
The Dakota County Technical College is in need of vehicles to work on beginning February 4th. They are looking for vehicle owned by Veterans, current military or family members who own a vehicle needing collision repair. Vehicle owners are responsible to pay for paint, parts, and materials only. LABOR is FREE. No rust please!! Due to program constraints we would like to keep the vehicle for an agreed upon timeline, so we are looking for vehicles that are not driven daily and can be kept at the college while being repaired.  Click on the following link to fill out the registration form:  Any questions contact Nicole Meulemans, (651) 423-8403.

Hastings Public High and Middle School military students, teachers, social workers, counselors, Minnesota National Guard Families, Dakota Electric, Steve Johnson-State Farm Insurance, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar, Graphic Design, Veterans of Foreign Wars (National Headquarters, local Lyle Russell Post 1210 and auxiliary), American Legion (State Department and local Nelson Lucking Post 47), Military Order of the Cooties, United Way of Hastings, Hastings Chamber of Commerce and the community members that stand behind the initiative.

Community Service/Volunteer Opportunities
Tax Assistance. Need help with your taxes? The AARP Tax Assistance – Tax Aide – Program is ready to help senior citizens and people with lower incomes. An appointment can be obtained at the Hastings Senior Center, 480-7689 after 21 Jan, beginning in February. The appointments will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays and from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays. . 
Become an ESGR Volunteer. ESGR Volunteers are trained to assist servicemembers and their employers. Contact Jim Mitchell,, (651) 282-4487, Cell: (651) 308-8294
Minnesota Veterans Home – Hastings. Want some veteran community involvement. Contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Dan Jordan,, (651) 438-6511.
Annual Military Mother/Grandmother Luncheon (11 May) Planning Committee. Meetings are already in progress. Contact Annette Kuyper, (651) 460-2248.
High School Grad Party. Planning is underway for the 2013 all-night grad party, which is set for 11:30 p.m., June 7th. The event is filled with games, entertainment and food. Volunteers' need should call Michelle Tjomsland at (651) 438-2357.

Leisure and Entertainment
Free Veterans Dinner, 1st Monday of each month until May for all servicemembers and veterans in Farmington.  RSVP at or contact Annette Kuyper,, (651) 460-2248.
City of Hastings, Parks and Recreation, Civic Arena. 2802 Redwing Blvd, Hastings, (651) 480-6195. Public opportunities are available for public skating: hockey, services, and rentals. For more information on programs, dates and times, visit
Hastings Senior Center is located at 310 River St., open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday For activities, programs, and services call (651) 480-7689 or visit 

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