PBYR and Wayzata High School Y.E.S. Students Packaged Gifts for Deployed MN Soldiers

On November 6, 2017 PBYR and Wayzata High School Y.E.S. students met to wrap $450.00 of beef sticks and send 60 letters of appreciation to deployed MN soldiers.  Kersten Beckstrom, Jennifer Rodgers, Deputy Chief Plekkenpol, Brenda Badger and Gary Goldetsky worked with the students and it was a delightful experience for all. The letter of this event is noted below.  Gary Goldetsky, PBYR President will meet with the Wayzata High School students in December 2017 to further review and discuss the PBYR mission.

PBYR and Wayzata HS YES 2017.pdf

Wayzata High School Y.E.S. November 2017

Wayzata High School Y.E.S. November 2017

Wayzata High School Y.E.S. November 2017

Wayzata High School Y.E.S. November 2017

Wayzata High School Y.E.S. November 2017


Dr. Gary Goldetsky honored with Seven Seals Award

Dr. Gary Goldetsky accepted this Seven Seals award from ESGR on October 25, 2017 on behalf of the Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization. This is the first time that this award has been presented to a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon volunteer. Dr. Goldetsky stated –

“I accept the award on behalf of PBYR and greatly acknowledge all the contributions and efforts from many network members over the years, thank you.”

ESGR, a Department of Defense program, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit  http://www.ESGR.mil .

Congratulations to Dr. Gary Goldetsky and the Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization.

PBYR meets with Medtronic’s Veteran Employment Resource Group

PBYR met with Medtronic’s Veteran Employment Resource Group (VERG) over lunch on Oct. 23, 2017 to discuss PBYR’s history and the type of projects completed to date. Another focus of the meeting was to discuss the needs often seen with Service Members, Veterans and their families.  It was a good meeting and all agreed to continue the dialogue. VERG was alerted to PBYR’s partnership with Heinzen-Ditter VFW and encouraged to dialogue with all on creative projects and options.

PBYR Representation at The MN State Fair

Kudos to Eric and Krismar Waage for their efforts to represent PBYR at the MN State Fair in August 2017.  We are lucky to have them in our network!!

Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP

PBYR Board Chair

Annette writes,

….Thank you for sending such wonderful volunteers from your network!

Annette Brechon Kuyper

Director of Military Outreach

Minnesota Department of Military Affairs

20 West 12th Street

Saint Paul, MN 55155-2004

O: 651.282.4002

C: 651.955.3108

Complimentary 2017 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Bargain Books

Complimentary 2017 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Bargain Books

JFHQ has received complimentary 2017 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Bargain books from BTYR / Minnesota State Fair.

Books can be picked up at the Veterans Service Building (20 West 12th Street in St. Paul) in my work area on the 4th floor.

NO PHONE CALLS OR EMAILS will be accepted to reserve books, first come-first served.  If you are outside of the metro area, contact someone you know in the area to pick up booklet for you.

Diane M. Buszta
Executive Administrative Assistant to
MG Neal G. Loidolt, Deputy Adjutant General
BG Johanna Clyborne, Assistant Adjutant General
COL Brian Melton, Joint Chief of Staff Minnesota Department Military Affairs
20 – 12th Street West
Veterans Service Building
Saint Paul, MN 55155
(651) 268.8925

PBYR’s 1st Event with Potbelly is a Success: $336.50 Donated

PBYR’s 1st Event with Potbelly is a Success:  $336.50 Donated

Potbelly at 3235 Vicksburg Lane North in Plymouth, MN

On August 16, 2017 Potbelly hosted a fundraiser and $336.50 was donated to PBYR to use to assist service members, Vets and family. The event went well and the Potbelly staff was very accommodating and as a result the manager requested a “monthly partnership” on the 3rd Wednesday of EVERY month from 5 PM to 8 PM!!!!!!!

PBYR welcomes and highly values this partnership. Please support Potbelly, have a meal  and express thanks to them for sponsoring a monthly PBYR fundraiser. Kersten Beckstrom provided  assistance with outreach efforts and as a result of her efforts several individuals asked to receive PBYR communications.   PBYR wishes to express appreciation with Plymouth Police Officers that came to Potbelly as well as Plymouth Council Member Jim Davis!!

Nevin Nylin, Potbelly Manager wrote:

Gary and Kersten,

The crew loved the event last night, even with the storms your group did well… With your event going well and the turnout was good, would you guys be interested in doing a monthly partnership?

Nevin Nylin

GMTL/GMCLServsafe Instructor/Proctor
3235 Vicksburg Lane N
Plymouth, MN 55447

PBYR will be at Potbelly’s on the 3rd Wednesday of EVERY month from 5 PM to 8 PM!


PBYR Supports Wellness 5K

Maybe not exactly like this but you get the general idea.

On August 4, 2017 PBYR delivered several cases of  water c/o Arden Hills FAC for Danelle Bybee, Minnesota State Coordinator – Contractor, Building Healthy Military Communities (BHMC) to assist 5K participants with hydration during the event.

PBYR at work

In June 2017,  PBYR assisted a Milwaukee family of a service member that is scheduled to come to Minnesota in July for specialized surgery.  PBYR provided $200 of gas and food gift cards as the family will need to remain in Minnesota for extensive follow-up medical care after the  specialty surgery. We wish the family well and hope the child recovers quickly!

Thank You

PBYR Assists Widow with Transition to Assisted Living

In April 2017, a Plymouth family needed assistance for the widow of a veteran and they contacted PBYR. The widow, 81 years old had been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and as a result needed to go to assisted living. Many of her personal belongings were damaged by an infestation of mice when she left Minnesota for the winter. PBYR’s Board discussed the request and assisted the family with gift certificates to secure needed transition items that would help set up her new home as well as locating other resources suggested by the FAC. PBYR’s fast response was greatly appreciated. The family writes:

“Hi Gary,

We are absolutely astounded at this benevolence and generosity. Thank you so much, the depth and breadth of our gratitude is unspeakable. M__ is weeping with joy!

Our address is ____________________________________

I hope you will please add me to your future mailing list as we would like to return our gratitude to other Veteran’s and their families in the future.

Warm regards, __”

PBYR Sincerely Thanks the Greenwood Students, Parents and Staff for the Donation of $350 in Gift Cards!!!!

thank-youPBYR Sincerely Thanks the Greenwood Students, Parents and Staff for the Donation of $350.00 in Gift Cards!!!!

pbyr-img_0197We greatly appreciated the invitation to participate in Community Service Night at Greenwood Elementary School on December 8, 2017. Jennifer and I saw that Greenwood is a school that is clearly doing very well! The students and their parents were delightful and there was a lot of positive energy present! Kristen Miller, Editor from Sun Sailor also came to the event and will write an article with pictures.

pbyr-img_0201The students drew beautiful pictures and wrote very nice letters to soldiers which we will forward to the Family Assistance Center (FAC) in Arden Hills to send to soldiers needing a boost. Additionally, the parents and students donated $350.00 in gift cards for food, gas and personal items which will be used in emergency requests for service and assistance for veterans, service members or their families that contact PBYR directly or that are identified by a member of the PBYR network or through our partnership with the Plymouth Police Department or Heinzen Ditter VFW. The PBYR Treasurer will be given the cards for safe storage until needed!! pbyr-img_0207



PBYR had a booth at the Plymouth Fire Department’s Open House

pbyr-number-3On October 15, 2016 PBYR was represented by Kersten Beckstrom, a newly elected PBYR Director and she expertly managed the booth. The open house was well attended. Gary was able to review PBYR partnerships with Home Depot, Buffalo Wild Wings, Plymouth Holiday Station and other groups at the event. All remain committed to PBYR and the statewide BYR program. The good energy from all these community partners was high!!

pbyr-number-2 pbyr-number-1

PBYR participates in Plymouth on Parade 2016

Click on picture to make it larger

Click on picture to make it larger

On September 24, 2016 PBYR participated in Plymouth on Parade with walkers and a booth for the 5th consecutive year!

We did some outreach and it remains clear that many people still do not know about PBYR or the MN BYR network of 219+ cities.

The PBYR goal for such events is to request that people visit our website (PBYR.org) and note the list of resources available for service members, veterans and their families. Also, to welcome them to reach out to PBYR via the website if they have a special need or request for the PBYR Board to consider.





PBYR Participated in the MN State Fair!

Yellow Ribbon State Fair Volunteers,

I want to thank you for making the 2016 Military Appreciation Day at the State Fair a success! Beyond the Yellow Ribbon really got the word out and together we made some great connections with those who are soon to be involved with their local networks. I enjoyed meeting/reconnecting with you and appreciate your support at the BTYR Booth. The parade really came together and “set the stage” for the Ceremony.

Attached are a few photos and more are posted at:

As a service member and veteran I truly appreciate everything you are doing to support us!




CELL 612.598.9252


Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your service and efforts have made a huge difference in the life of Sam and Mardelle. Sam is settling in to his new apartment and receiving the care that will make a huge difference in his quality of life. Mardelle is adjusting at home and preparing to get their house on the market. This couple has been in need (in many ways) for a very long time and your assistance has helped to meet a portion of that need in a GREAT way. On behalf of this family, thank you!


Lori Schultz | Community Relations Counselor
6288 Louisiana Court North

Brooklyn Park MN 55428
Main: 763-537-3382 Direct Dial Cell: 612-868-7816

PBYR - The Waterford


PBYR Successfully Assisted Veteran with Severe Health Issues

PBYR 0143On July 30, 2016 PBYR assisted an 86 year old Veteran (Retired Navy Commander) move to assisted living. His family was very appreciative of PBYR’s efforts. This assistance will greatly improve the quality of life for the Vet and his wife.

Kudos to Hans, Justin, Jennifer, Liam, Jacob, and Allan for their volunteer efforts with this project.

The temperature on Saturday was warm, the items big, and the donated truck and trailer was full!! Thanks for all the help and muscle!!!!!

PBYR partners with Home Depot for Military Appreciation Day event

PBYR - Home Depot logoOn Saturday, July 23, 2016 Kersten & I participated at the Military Appreciation Day Event at Home Depot. Kersten’s efforts were again greatly appreciated, especially as the sky was very dark with an impending thunderstorm when we arrived!!!

We raised $39 but more importantly we were able to thank many veterans for their service, alert them about www.PBYR.org and demonstrate partnering support with Home Depot. Sue was very nice and helped with our booth, chairs and related event details and these efforts were appreciated. The Veterans we talked with said they really enjoy Home Depot’s efforts with Military Appreciation Day and many come to this year after year.

PBYR always enjoys partnering with Home Depot—a very good business community neighbor!! The pictures from this event will be placed on PBYR.org when they arrive from Home Depot.

Oh! Don’t forget the Home Depot Military/Veteran Discount Policy, they offer a 10 percent discount, up to a $500 maximum, to all active, reserve, retired or disabled veterans and their family members with a valid military ID, every day of the week. All other military veterans qualify for a 10 percent discount during Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Independence Day.

Have a beautiful day!!


PBYR and the Plymouth Lions Partner to help a veteran

helping-handsOn April 28, 2016 Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (PBYR) finalized an emergency assistance project with a veteran that had experienced many life change events and financial distress. His car was unreliable and likely unsafe at any speed and needed replacement. PBYR offered a grant and a no interest loan and these were put toward a down payment on a good used car that was located by an officer of the Plymouth Lions. This will permit the veteran to travel to his job in Bloomington and transport his son safely. In this successful effort 2 Plymouth community organizations were able to partner and assist a veteran! The veteran was very happy!


PBYR receives 5 year recognition award

PBYR-Mayor Slavik BTYR

Mayor Slavik proudly displays the 5 Year appreciation award received from General Nash and the BYR program. This award will be placed in a glass case at Plymouth City Hall.

On April 15, 2016, PBYR received a 5 year recognition award from BYR at the annual joining forces workshop . This award was presented by General Nash, MN National Guard.

My appreciation to Jennifer Rodgers as she also attended the “Joining Forces” program and all the PBYR members that have assisted PBYR over the years. We need continued efforts and more efforts!!

I wish more PBYR members/supporters would attend the ”Joining Forces” yearly program as it helps explain how other cities and counties are joining forces to assist the 1% of US citizens that serve or have served in the armed forces that protect us. General Nash highlighted in this speech that the US is likely more exposed and at risk than before the attack on the World Trade Center. The BYR network is important. Every bit of effort strengthens us by supporting the folks that protect us. BYR now has 219 MN cities participating in the program.

The BYR program will be expanded to 6 more states. Since BYR has been in operation, MN has moved from the state with the highest military suicide rate to the 4th highest state. MN is still unfortunately on a top 10 list that no one desires regarding suicides! As a result of this challenge – PBYR along with other BYR cities needs to provide continued and focused assistance to help significantly improve these statistics. The MN National Guard has made appropriate efforts and we also need to do our part. The correct target for military suicides is 0 events!

The take-away for me from the workshop is that PBYR is properly participating in the BYR program. Please look at our website: pbyr.org especially the resource page so that if you meet a veteran or service member that needs assistance you can give him/her some resources as a start. We can also activate the network to locate additional resources as needed. Currently, PBYR is in process of assisting an elderly couple (more assistance will be requested as their timeline of a move is developed) and PBYR is paying for some engraving at the Plymouth Memorial for a soldier that was killed in action.

Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP

Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP

PBYR plans to increase recruiting efforts for both the PBYR board and general membership. Currently PBYR needs additional volunteers to help design fund-raising materials, invite speakers to a meeting, manage a request for service, attend fund-raising/outreach efforts and related. Please let me know your availability or special interests. PBYR is currently focusing on expanding outreach to area BYR cities to partner more, e.g., housing, cars, fundraising and related. The trend is that more cities will likely be partnering on projects and resource identification. A meeting with Anoka BYR is scheduled and several BYR others will be scheduled. Jennifer’s efforts in this area is appreciated. Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, PBYR President