On June 14, 2018, Gary Goldetsky, PBYR President, on behalf of the PBYR Board of Directors presented a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon coin to the Plymouth Lions during their picnic at Medicine Lake. This BYR coin represents PBYR’s sincere appreciation and acknowledgement of the Plymouth Lions’ support and assistance since 2012. PBYR greatly appreciates the partnership with the Plymouth Lions as without this support PBYR would not be able to do its’ mission in the BYR network of cities.
It is with a warm and heavy heart that we at Family Programs extend our deepest gratitude for coming together to raise the travel funds necessary for Master SGT Jonathan J Dunbar’s MN extended family to attend his funeral. The “Youcaring” link is no longer up and the family was able to lay their loved one to rest today. Thank you for coming together as a network to serve those who serve us. The family wanted this statement to go out to you:
“Please forward to all involved. Today we as a family were able to all come together in honor and to say goodbye to our loved one, Master Sgt Jonathan J Dunbar at National Arlington Cemetery. Thank you to all who made this burden lighter through your support and words of condolence. We as a family have sorrow and grief for his loss but know that he loved this country and his family and that is why he served. It was amazing to see the strength and sorrow at the same time of the soldiers wearing Dunbar on their badges to honor him today. Thanks again for all your generosity and kindness. The Dunbar Family”
Tiffany KovaleskiMN State Coordinator – Building Healthy Military Communities (BHMC)
Contractor – Alutiiq, LLC
MN National Guard/Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
8180 Belden Blvd
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
(O): (612) 787-2556
Dear BTYR Communities,
Unfortunately, the extended family (who live in MN) of a Service member are in need due to a tragic loss. Sgt Jonathan Dunbar was killed in active duty. The immediate family of this soldier have their costs covered but the extended family here in MN are travelling to attend the funeral in Arlington, VA via vehicle with limited monetary resources. They have stated they have the capacity to reach Arlington but would have to utilize credit to do so.
If your community would like to donate to help offset their travel cost, you are able to donate to the family’s “you caring” site listed below. At this time this is the only need, the family anticipates to have. The family has asked for privacy and no direct contact or outreach to the family is authorized at this time.
Please send any questions to MN National Guard Family Programs Director, CPT Adam Gades at (651)-248-2912 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The following statement was given and approved by the family of the soldier,
“We are grieving the loss of our nephew, Sgt Jonathan Dunbar, cousin, family member from the IED bombing in Syria. Our family is close and big and several aunts, uncles and cousins would like to attend the service of Jon at Arlington National Cemetery for his internment. We know Jon would want us all there to support our loved ones. We are looking for funds to get us there from Minnesota to out east. Plans for service are the week if 4/17 per government schedule. We have made the most economical travel plans including driving out. We are also staying 4 per room at the Virginian with a rate of 385.00 for 2 nights. We will have one hotel out and back, but uncertain where that will be or the cost depending on where we stop. RIP Jonathan Dunbar. He was an amazing father, husband, son, brother, and beloved family member. It is sure different when it is one of your own. Thank you all for your support and care! The Dunbar Family.”
PBYR Assists Family to Attend a Funeral at Arlington Cemetery
On April 18, 2018 the PBYR Board authorized $200 to assist the extended family of Sgt Jonathan Dunbar to attend his funeral. He was killed in action. The family has expressed a desire for privacy. Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and we acknowledge Sgt Dunbar’s service and sacrifice.
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
This weekend the military Family Assistance Center (FAC) contacted PBYR with a request for service. A service member’s father is in an AZ hospice. He is very ill and will likely die in several days. The service member would like to see his father and bring 4 family members to AZ, however does not have the funds. The service member contacted the FAC, the airline , the Red Cross and the American Legion . The cost for the flight is $1,760.
PBYR agreed to provide an emergency grant of $880.00 to assist this family. We appreciate the FAC for bringing this situation to our attention as we want to support this military family in their time of need.
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP
President – Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
I received an email about a woman in the SW Metro that has several large tubs of Beanie Babies that she would like to donate to military service members children. They are new and/or in like new condition and belonged to the woman’s daughter who is now at school and no longer wants them. I’m hoping that others would be willing/wanting to take some so we can get them to military families, my contact information is below. The donor wants to see them gone soon so time is short as they may end up at Goodwill. Thank you!
Donor Connect contacts:
I was approached by Gary Komaniecki of the Rochester Public Schools who stated his auto shop students have repaired a 1998 Ford Conversion Van with a powered wheelchair ramp which is in good working order for donation.
If you know of anyone who would benefit from having a handicapped vehicle please get in touch with Gary at 507-261-7566.
St. Cloud VA HSC
(320) 252-1670 ext 6676 (office)
On December 27, 2017 the Bloomington Family Assistance Center (FAC) encountered a Service Member that needed temporary housing for 3 weeks prior to starting National Guard Training. PBYR and The American Legion quickly partnered to house the Service Member at an Extended Stay Motel. The Service Member was very pleased that she was protected from homelessness prior to starting training, especially with the severe winter weather upon us in Minnesota.
Kudos to all that were able to agree to effectively partner in such a helpful manner!! PBYR wishes the Service Member well in her future training and a Happy and Healthy New Year. We thank her for her planned service! And PBYR acknowledges the assistance and support from our partners –the American Legion and John Wagle, Bloomington FAC Representative!
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP, PBYR President
Donor Connect Friends-
As we near Christmas I want to send a special thank you to all of you who have helped make the Donor Connect Program as successful as it is. Without your donations and offers to assist many veterans and their family members would not have been able to benefit from the equipment listed with the Donor Connect Program.
I was contacted by Greg Peterson, CVSO for Brown County, who has a unique item he would like to let people know is available as a donation- Please get ahold of Greg if you know of anyone who is interested or could benefit from this great walk-in bath tub.
“We received a walk-in bath tub as a donation last week. The tub is in great shape, but it does not have whirlpool jets. The tub is currently in the back of our Veterans van and will be at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center on Friday, Dec 15th, and at the Minneapolis VAMC on Monday, Dec 18th. We are willing to deliver it to anyone in the near proximity of these two locations. It is heavy and would take at least two strong people to lift out of our van. The photos were taken with the tub in the van, and the interior photos include two exterior access panels.
Please call 507-233-6636 if you would like to have the tub. If it is not taken by Monday, we will store it at our DAV chapter in New Ulm.”
St. Cloud VA HSC
Plymouth Beyond Yellow Ribbon further explored the PBYR mission with Brenda Badger’s Y.E.S. students on December 7, 2017. This was a follow-up to the prior project and partnering with PBYR in November, 2017 to send treats to deployed MN soldiers. In the presentation, the students asked many good questions about PBYR. We addressed many reasons why people volunteer with non-profit organizations, such as agreeing with the mission and to demonstrate support, personal skill development, leadership training and to contribute to a healthy sense of community. Also, the many advantages for Minnesota to have a large network of BYR cities was reviewed in detail as this effort has assisted many people and decreased the military suicide rates over the past several years.
Strategies and reasons for students to connect with PBYR and/or other non-profits was reviewed in detail. The students seemed to resonate with the PBYR mission and history. Hopefully, they will desire to partner again with PBYR in 2018! They were reminded that their knowledge and skill with social media could be used effectively by many non-profit organizations, especially as community outreach efforts can take many creative forms in the current digital age.
Gary Goldetsky, Psy.D, LP
PBYR Board Chairman
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.
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 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.
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
….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
Complimentary 2017 Minnesota State Fair Blue Ribbon Bargain Books
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
PBYR’s 1st Event with Potbelly is a Success: $336.50 Donated
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!!
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?
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!
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!
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:
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, __”
We 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.
The 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!!