“We’ve done raking leaves, and we’ve sent packages (to soldiers deployed overseas),” said Justin Larson, a veteran who served in Iraq 15 years ago and now helps as part of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon committee.
“It’s really important that when you’re deployed, you’re not worried about certain things back home,” said Larson.
The problem the committee and other advocacy and support groups face is not knowing who is deployed from where and when–or even where their families are.
“The military doesn’t disclose that information,” said Larson. “A lot of veterans are maybe in one community, but they live in another community, like they’re deployed in Mankato but they live (in the Twin Cities).”
Allison Alstrin, representing Project Got Your Back, shared tips and visions her organization has with the group.
“It’s so hard in today’s day and age to just streamline and get people to hear anyone’s message,” said Alstrin. “Imagine if you could get all those state (veterans affairs) leaders at your quarterly meeting to be able to hear what you have to say.”