Stillwater is honored for support to troops

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW
  • Star Tribune
  • March 22, 2012 - 8:15 PM

No city in the nation does a better job than Stillwater of helping soldiers reintegrate into civilian life when they return from combat or helping their families when they are away.

The city has been awarded the 2011 Sea of Goodwill Award by Homeward Deployed, a Washington-based organization that recognizes communities for their efforts in supporting service members, veterans and those who serve in reserve units.

Representatives from Homeland Deployed made the presentation Thursday during a ceremony at the Washington County Historic Courthouse in Stillwater.

Stillwater was the national winner in the category for communities with between 10,000 and 99,999 people.

Hugo also was recognized Thursday as the honorable mention in the same category.

"We think it's time to recognize the extraordinary support local communities offer to veterans and their families around the country," said Gretchen Martens, Homeward Deployed's chief executive officer. "Their efforts in supporting service members, veterans and their families are greatly appreciated."

Stillwater and Hugo are Yellow Ribbon communities and involved in efforts to help families affected by deployment, said Mike Polehna, of the Washington County Parks Department, who is active in the yellow ribbon campaign.

In the past two years, volunteers have organized a pheasant hunt for returning soldiers and arranged for services such as plumbing and snow plowing.

"This is a celebration and thank you for all the people working to support the troops," he said.

Tim Harlow • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @timstrib

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