A network of yellow ribbons

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, July 23, 2011

Austin is in the process of starting a new community, one that’s marked by a yellow ribbon.

Many citizens of Austin are trying to make Austin a Yellow Ribbon community, which means there’s a network of support for military servicemembers and their families — no matter what the need.

At 6 p.m. Monday, July, 25 at the Hormel Nature Center, citizens will try to find a chairperson for the Yellow Ribbon program along with a steering committee. It’s a steering committee, as its members will steer military members and their families in the right direction for help.

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“Basically the Yellow Ribbon program has kind of turned into a program that will go on forever,” said Marian Clennon of Austin, whose oldest son is in the Navy. “It’s to take care of the military members and families before they’re deployed, during and after.”

The program will set up a web of contacts who can help with car repairs, house repairs and other issues or tragedies that occur to military families.

“It kind of becomes the military base that military families don’t necessarily have when they don’t live on a base,” Clennon said about the program.

The meeting will include a welcome by Mayor Tom Steihm, and a presentation by Annette Kuyper, who will provide an overview of the state’s Yellow Ribbon Recognition Program. Volunteers will be sought to assist the Yellow Ribbon Steering Committee in developing a plan to support military families throughout all areas of the community. National Guardsmen will also be on hand to answer questions.

Steihm and Clennon encourage every military family to attend the event, as well as any local citizens who can volunteer.