Beyond the Yellow Ribbon
Julie Buchwald Haley served as a Navy spouse for 25 years and seven deployments before she began volunteering with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon (BTYR) in Northfield. Having made multiple moves in the military, she learned the importance of finding resources in a community. In her role as a member of the steering committee she was happy to talk about the assistance that BYTR offers. Northfield Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a community network which creates awareness for the purpose of connecting veterans, service members, and their families with community support and resources.
Having grown to a network of over 300 partners and supporters, the Northfield group has 12 very involved Steering Committee members: Julie Buchwald Haley (co-chair), Pastor Brent Klein (co-chair), Debby Larsen (co-chair), Lisa McDermott (past co-chair), Ray Ozmun, Kurt Wolf, Mark Elliott, Shelby Svien, Owen Thomas, Tammy Hayes, Lisa Peterson, and Michelle Mahowald. As leaders, these volunteers plan the annual Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day events in partnership with the Northfield American Legion Post 84 and The VFW Post 4393. The BTYR volunteers also host a picnic lunch following the annual Memorial Day ceremony.
Over the last year BTYR assisted several Northfield service members by helping with things such as building a ramp for a vet returning home from the hospital, procuring a recliner for a serviceman who could not sleep in a bed, replacing a garage roof, locating a garage space for a deployed sailor’s car, providing a Thanksgiving meal for the family of a deployed service member with young children, and offering free childcare and respite for a young mother whose husband was deployed. Volunteers step in when families are not in the area by providing things to make life easier for the ones left at home when their loved one is away.
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon has one fundraising event each year. The 2021 Annual Pancake Breakfast was held March 7th at the Northfield Eagles Club. This year’s supporters were able to preorder and drive-thru to pick up their hot stacks of flapjacks. Next year the group hopes to return to the dine in omelets option!
If you would like to give back to veterans or active duty military there is a Facebook group to follow in addition to the northfieldyellowribbon.org web page. Volunteers are welcome with or without military experience or family connections.