Klobuchar announces $3.6 million for Minnesota National Guard projectsFunding has been secured for key projects of Minnesota’s National Guard, including the Yellow Ribbon program to help Minnesota’s returning National Guard troops reintegrate into civilian life and a counter-drug trafficking program with local law enforcement.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
Funding has been secured for key projects of Minnesota’s National Guard, including the Yellow Ribbon program to help Minnesota’s returning Na-tional Guard troops reintegrate into civilian life and a counter-drug trafficking pro-gram with local law enforcement.
The funding is included in the fiscal year (FY) 2010 Department of Defense appropriations bill, according to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
The Yellow Ribbon program provides counseling and support services for members and their families. The program is especially crucial because, unlike active duty soldiers who live and work with their military units and have ready access to counseling and care, guardsmen and reservists are with their units only during their short post-deployment processing window, Klobuchar said.
After this point, it becomes increasingly challenging for them to access the services they need, Klobuchar said.
More than $7 million has been secured for the program.
“The men and women of the Minnesota National Guard continue to serve with bravery and honor, both at home and abroad,” said Klobuchar. “These projects will provide the National Guard with the resources they need to help returning National Guard troops transition back into civilian life. There wasn’t a waiting line when these brave Americans signed up to serve and there shouldn’t be a waiting line when they come home and need support.”
Funding will also go toward a counterdrug program. Under the program, Minnesota National Guard members have teamed up with local law enforcement agencies, schools, and community organizations to combat illegal drugs by reducing demand and cutting supply.
Another $1.6 million will go to the University of Minnesota for continued research to develop and validate the advanced technologies that will be used in the design of the next generation of hypersonic vehicles. Klobuchar has previously obtained $4.4 million for this research.
The Senate is expected to pass the FY2010 Defense Appropriations within the week.