PBYR - We're Ready to Help copy 1In 2015 PBYR received IRS certification as a non-profit 501c3 corporation in Minnesota.

Please be assured that PBYR is totally operated by unpaid board directors, board officers and volunteers. PBYR partners include the City of Plymouth, Heinzen-Ditter VFW, Plymouth Lions, Plymouth Home Depot, Plymouth Holiday Station, and Prudential. All donations to PBYR are tax deductible. Please consider PBYR in your charitable giving and estate planning.

Donations can be made out to: Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon c/o Heinzen –Ditter VFW, 19020 Hamel Rd, Plymouth, MN 55446.


Donations can also be made through Thrivent Choice®.

Thrivent Choice enrolled org-50

PBYR welcomes all offers to volunteer or partner.  Please email plymouthyellowribbonMN@gmail.com or telephone (612-293-8211), and note that for certain assignments a criminal background check will need to be completed prior to deployment.

Jennifer B. Rodgers, President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

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Valor Place – Affordable Veterans Housing

A shortage of affordable housing often leads to homelessness for Minnesota veterans. According to Wilder Research, 46% of veterans name the shortage as the primary barrier to finding a stable place to live – and they need your help.

Introducing Valor Place … and the Need

The Plymouth Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) is building a twin home in Plymouth called Valor Place, designed to provide stable, affordable, rental housing for U.S. military veterans. Owned and managed by HRA, the two units will be available to vets and their families who meet income and other eligibility requirements. Learn more about the Valor Place project at plymouthmn.gov/valorplace

Proposed rendering of Valor Place development in Plymouth

To make Valor Place possible, the HRA has teamed up with Charles Cudd Co., Outreach Development Corporation, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans – and we would welcome the opportunity to add your business to our list of partners. 

Help Make a House a Home – by Nov. 1

We are seeking in-kind donations to furnish the twin home. Once complete, each unit will be about 1,800 square feet and feature three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full kitchen, a two-car garage and more. Furniture, household goods, and the like will give veterans an established place to call home without purchasing or finding furniture to fit their new spaces. A list of needed furniture and furnishings is attached.

With a targeted completion date of Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, we need your help to furnish the homes by Nov. 1.

Ways to Give

  • Donate furniture, furnishings, and household items: Please contact me to arrange pick up or delivery of items.
  • Donate online: Make an online tax-deductible donation using the City of Plymouth’s secure online payment portal at plymouthmn.gov/valorplace.
  • Donate by mail: Make your check payable to Outreach Development Corporation (indicate “Valor Place” on the memo line) and mail to: 

Outreach Development Corporation – Valor Place

1605 County Road 101 N., Plymouth, MN 55447

All donations, whether in-kind or financial, are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

On behalf of our team and our military vets, thank you for your support.

Dean Sherman

Vice President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

deanshermanmn@gmail.com – 612.743.7591

2020 VA Loan Benefits

2020 VA Loan Benefits

2020 has been a confusing year, to say the least. However, some positives have come out of it too. Especially regarding VA home loans, which at the beginning of the year had some significant changes take place.

These changes came after the Bluewater Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump on June 25th, 2019. This new law brought about changes to VA benefits so that they covered Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to a dangerous chemical referred to as Agent Orange, while on deployment. VA home loans were also changed by the new law as they removed loan limits for first-time borrowers removed, and funding fees changed.

VA Home Loan Changes

The signing of the new law saw the removal of loan limits for first-time borrowers, which allows them to shop for homes in areas that were previously too expensive. However, because these loans are provided by qualified lenders and not the VA itself, each lender has to make sure that the borrower can afford their monthly payments.

As a result, lenders have the freedom to set up their own loan limits, which are not administered by the VA, but rather by the applicant’s ability to make payments on time. Currently, VA Home Loan Centers has a loan limit of $5,000,000 for first-time borrowers who are qualified.

This removal of loan limits does not cover borrowers with more than one existing VA loan. Hence, they are still subject to the loan limit set up by their county. As a result of this new law, county limits across the country were also raised from an average of $484,350 to $510,400. Although some counties have even higher loan limits based on the cost of living.

In addition to these changes for first-time borrowers and second-time borrowers, the new law also brought changes to other groups of people. Native American veterans, for example, are no longer required to limit themselves when purchasing or buying a home on Federal Trust Land.

The new law also brought changes to the VA funding fee, which is a one-time payment that is paid by the borrower to lower the cost of a loan for tax-payers. The changes that took place increased the funding fee that is funded by active duty service members from 0.15% to 0.30%. At the same time, it lowered the funding fee for members of the National Guard and military reserves.

Active Duty personnel who have been awarded the Purple Heart due to their heroism can have their funding fee payment waived. The only requirement is that Purple Heart recipients close on their property while still in active duty. Moreover, the program did not affect disabled veterans who were already exempt from having to pay for the funding fee.

All of these changes to the funding fee are temporary and are set to last until 2022.

VA Home Loans

VA home loans are government-guaranteed loans that are designed to assist veterans, active-duty service members, and eligible spouses become homeowners. Created by an act of congress in 1944 to help veterans returning home from World War 2, buy a home. VA home loans have since helped about 22 million American Veterans but the home of their dreams.

Several eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for the VA home loan, these include military service, property, income, and credit score https://www.vahomeloancenters.org/va-home-loan-eligibility. If an applicant meets all of these requirements, they will be able to purchase a home with some of the best benefits available. These benefits include:

  • Zero money down payments.
  • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • No pre-payment penalties.
  • Lower interest rates.
  • No mortgage premiums.

In addition to these great benefits, VA loans also offer the option of having your home loan either be a 15 or a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.


The changes that were implemented at the beginning of 2020 have made an already excellent home loan program even better. By signing this program into law, the government reinforced the notion that they really care about our men and women in the military.

Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loan Centers, a government-sponsored brokerage focused on VA Home Loans. With over 22 years of experience working in real estate, Phil and his team of trained agents can help you find the loan that is right for you. To apply for a VA loan, please visit https://www.vahomeloancenters.org/apply-for-a-va-home-loan/

MN National Guard Youth Camps – Cancelled

The time has come to make a decision on whether Minnesota National Guard Youth and Teen Camp will be in session during the summer of 2020. Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp Board members held a special meeting on May 31st, 2020 and have voted that for the safety of our campers, volunteers, and their families, we have cancelled Youth and Teen Camp for all 2020 sessions. The decision to cancel Camp is not an easy one, but we feel that this is the responsible course of action and allows us to assure that MNGYC has a strong base from which to move forward. Just as the Minnesota National Guard comes from a fairly diverse population from across the state, so do Campers and Volunteers. Camp is a place for Campers to network with others from similar backgrounds and their safety has always been our number one priority. In our many discussions in how we would incorporate Minnesota Department of Health’s recommendations and Center for Disease Control guidance into our daily life at Camp, we found ourselves with very few Camp activities left. 

To our Campers – we miss you…and we know you miss us. Camp is the highlight of the year for so many of you and we recognize that these last few months have been challenging. We will be able to safely come together at Camp in the future. Until then, have fun close to home, wear your sunscreen & bug spray and drink plenty of water. 

To our Parents – over the next few days, we will be working with our registration vendor to completely refund camper registration. Stay tuned for more information. Your patience is very much appreciated. 

To our volunteers – I want to reiterate my thanks in your commitment to our campers, to safely provide them an atmosphere to connect with other youth in circumstances similar to their own. Without you, none of this would be possible. We appreciate your loyalty and never take it for granted. 

Until next year Campers… 

Stay up to date on Youth & Teen Camp by signing up for our newsletter and liking us on Facebook.


Lindsay Koolmo

MNGYC Executive Director


15000 MN Hwy 115

Little Falls, MN 56345

Winter Address:

1360 University Ave


St Paul, MN 55104-4086

United Heroes League offers a number of free slots to Minnesota Vikings Kyle Rudolph’s Football Camp

United Heroes League has been offered a number of free slots to Minnesota Vikings Kyle Rudolph’s Football Camp!  Slots are limited please fill out the form as soon as possible.Kyle Rudolph Football ProCamp

Date: Thursday, July 16th, 2020 – Time: 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM (Registration opens at 7:30 AM)

Location: Providence Academy, 15100 Schmidt Lake Rd., Plymouth, MN 55446

Open to:  Boys and Girls Grades 1-8. If you are interested in having your child attend this camp, please fill out the form provided in the link below:


Employment Opportunities

We are currently looking for the following positions (please see job descriptions as PDF’s listed below):

Press Brake 1st shift $18- $19.55/hr, able to set-up and operate CNC Power Shear, CNC Press Brake and CNC Turret Punch Press, 1-2 years  recent work experience

TIG Welder, 1st shift, starting wage $21.50, 1-2 years exp  TIG Welding

Engineering Manager


Melissa Bautista
HR Generalist
NuAire, Inc.
Best Products. Best Performance. Best Protection.
2100 Fernbrook Lane
Plymouth, MN 55447 U.S.A.
tf: 800.328.3352
ph: 763.553.1270
fx: 763.551.2288

11th Annual Teen Summit – June 17-19

The 11th Annual Teen Summit is coming in June. The Teen Summit event is to connect Military Teens from across Minnesota. The summit is designed for military teens to network, work on team building activities and building leadership skills.  There will be activities throughout the week.

*They are monitoring the COVID-19 Pandemic guidance and recommendations and will plan accordingly.  In the event, the summit is cancelled those who registered will be notified.  A make-up date will be scheduled in August.

Who : Military Youth 13-18

When: June 17-19, 2020

Where: St. Cloud State university

Register now at:


Plymouth Memorial Day Event to be live streamed May 22 at 11AM

2020 Plymouth Memorial Day
Like many, the City of Plymouth and Plymouth’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon network made the difficult decision to forego a Memorial Day live event this year. Our alternative was to work with the City of Plymouth’s Park & Recreation Department and CCX Media to produce a virtual remembrance. Our event will be live streamed on Facebook LIVE this Friday, May 22, at 11 a.m. It will also be streamed on the CCX website. We hope to get an On-Demand link so that people will be able to watch it on their own schedule. The program will consist of:
  • Welcome – Jeffrey Wosje, City of Plymouth Mayor
  • Pledge of Allegiance – VFW Post 5903
  • Invocation – Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Phillip A. (Buddy) Winn Jr. United States Army, 34th Red Bull ID & MN National Guard State Chaplain Fort Snelling Memorial Chapel Foundation Pastor
  • America the Beautiful – Sara Shiff Robbinsdale Armstrong High School Senior
  • Remembering the Families – Jennifer B. Rodgers, Military Spouse & Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon President
  • Honoring the Fallen & Keeping Remembrance Alive – Colonel Terry W. Branham (Ret.) United States Army, Vietnam ‘69-’70, Desert Storm, Drug War ‘91-’93 VFW Post 210 & Legion Post 44
  • In Flanders Fields – Erin Anderson Wayzata High School Senior
  • Benediction – Chaplain Winn
  • Moment of Silence – Chaplain Winn
  • Taps – VFW Post 5903 (Conclusion of Program)

UPDATE May 25 – If you missed the live event you can still catch it here – https://tinyurl.com/yakmqq5j

Hopefully it’ll be the next best thing to being there.

Notes from the latest MN Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Coffee Talks

BTYR Grant County

Congratulations to our newest BTYR Network Grant County! There action plan was recently approved by the State BTYR board. We are excited to have them join us and all the work they continue to do for veterans, service members, first responders and their families! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic they are working on a proclamation ceremony date for later this year.  I will be sure to share out when more information comes available. Congratulations once again!


Natural Park Service 

Building Healthy Military Communities has worked in consorted effort with the National Park Service to aid in the promotion of total health in a joint social media campaign for the upcoming National Park Week April 18 – 26.  While you can not physically participate at a National Park, you are able to still experience them virtually.  Isolation is tough for everyone, but it is a proven fact that there is wellness in nature. Attached is an excel document that contains everything your military/veteran organization will need for posting during National Park Service Week.  If you do not have time to initiate your own social media posts, you can share posts from the National Park Service or Building Healthy Military Communities Facebook pages.  Be sure to utilize the hashtags (they are provided in the excel document).

NPS_BHMC_Key Partners Social Media Campaign Park Week April 18_26 Final (1) (1) (this is an Excel document)

Building Healthy Military Communities (BHMC) Facebook
National Park Service Facebook
Healthy Parks Healthy People National Park Service Facebook


St Cloud VA Virtual Baby Shower

To honor and support Veterans welcoming new children into their families in 2020, the St Cloud VA is hosting a baby shower on May 13th from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. The goal is to celebrate Veteran parents – especially moms – while also increasing awareness of VA’s comprehensive maternity care services and to encourage women Veterans to choose VA to support their health and wellness goals. For questions or more information call (320) 252-1670 ext. 6655
To attend this event, log on at: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/77083531403 

For more information about VA’s benefits and programs for women Veterans

Rachel Johnson, MBA

Yellow Ribbon Outreach Coordinator
Camp Ripley Training Center
15000 Hwy 115
Little Falls, MN 56345
(320) 249-0136

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Resources (BTYR) and Updates

I hope this email finds you all healthy and well. As most have heard Governor Walz has extended the Stay at Home order until May 4, 2020. We will continue to share resources that come available for our veterans, service members and their families. To assist in this I have put together a COVID-19 Resource Guide and will continue to update as resources come available. The guide provides links to all benefits and resources within the state. Please share out and if there is anything missing please let me know and I will update. I will also link this to the MN State Yellow Ribbon Outreach Coordinator Facebook page (this is a closed group to share resources and to connect to your own page).  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2303615423016974/


Each of the .pdf’s below has lots of very good information that can be helpful to you or someone you know, please take a few minutes to look at each document.


COVID-19 Resources BTYR v5.pdf (Updates are marked in yellow)

Food Access Resources v1.pdf

04-01-2020 BTYR POC.pdf

COVID-19 Special Needs Grant Overview.pdf

COVID-19 Disaster Relief Overview.pdf

Virtual Brochure-All 3 MN PFC’s.pdf

Vet Recovery Apr 20.pdf


Thank you to all of you and your continued support!

Rachel Johnson, MBA

Yellow Ribbon Outreach Coordinator
Camp Ripley Training Center

15000 Hwy 115
Little Falls, MN 56345
(320) 249-0136

Military OneSource Expanding its Non-Medical Video Counseling to Military Youth

Video counseling can be conducted individually or as a family depending on the age of the child. For a description of counseling and eligibility you can find more information in the article attached or on line here:


non-medical-counseling-for-youth-now-available-by-video (002).pdf

Remember to tune in live Monday-Friday at 12:00 p.m. EST, if you can, all you have to do is follow the Military OneSource page on Facebook. If you don’t have time to watch the live event, it will be posted for your review immediately following the event. We want to hear from you, so post a comment on the video thread about how you may have helped a military youth dealing with stress around COVID -19 or any tips you have for other military families. Secondly, we are asking that you share the link to today’s video
with any military service members or family members you are friends with on Facebook so that they might benefit from the information. Here is a link to today’s video:


Military OneSource has a dedicated page to help keep you up to date on this
rapidly-evolving situation, www.militaryonesource.mil/coronavirus

You can call Military OneSource anytime at 800-342-9647 or you can chat live
with a consultant by logging on to -www.militaryonesource.mil

Question please let me know. Additionally, I will be holding another coffee talk session Friday 27 Mar @ 10am via zoom here is my link if you are interested. This morning’s coffee talk was great!

Caution-https://militaryonesource.zoom.us/j/3873396398 <
Caution-https://militaryonesource.zoom.us/j/3873396398 >

Or Telephone:

Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 387 339 6398

Stay well!!


Michael J. Meier | Minnesota Military OneSource State Consultant

Plymouth realtor & military benefits

This was the realtor I was referred to by USAA, vetted by their realtor service.
She & her husband are a team, the best. I’m so grateful to them.

After I fired probably the worst crooked realtor on the planet (all during my hubby’s MN ARNG training absence), they got my house sold.