MN National Guard Family Programs

March 2023

Celebrating Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month and the United States Department of Defense honors the contributions of women serving in the military and DoD civilian forces. To learn more, visit the DoD website.
Big picture

Service member featured on radio show

In honor of Women's History Month, Staff Sgt. Amanda Riemenschneider with the 133rd Airlift Wing was a featured guest on the Minnesota Military Radio. During the week, Riemenschneider is the Airman & Family Readiness program assistant. On drill weekends, she is the Student Flight noncommissioned officer in charge preparing new airmen before they undergo basic training.

Riemenschneider was joined on the show by Emma O'Brien, Women Veterans Program manager, Women's Comprehensive Care Clinic, at the Minnesota Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Tune in to the recorded show, hosted by military veteran Tom Lyons, at

Big picture

BTYR Rosemount co-hosts first Women Veterans Brunch

The Rosemount Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Dakota County Elks teamed up to host their first Women Veterans Brunch and Resource Fair at the Rosemount American Legion on March 4.

More than 50 guests attended the event which featured guest speakers, including Vietnam-era Navy veteran Catherine "Kay" Bauer, Kristy Ann Janigo and Janet Lorenzo with the American Legion of Minnesota, and Molly McCabe and Jeanine Solberg of the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Eighteen community partners were on hand to provide information about their organizations, including Veterans Affairs Women’s Clinic, Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Disabled American Veterans, Dakota County Veteran Services, CareerForce, 23rd Veteran, Fishing for Life, Veterans on Big Marine, and local colleges. Organizers said the event was well received and plan to offer it again next year.

The Minnesota Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, known as BTYR, program supports veterans, service members, and families in all military branches. It is composed of an extensive community and corporate network across the state. To learn more, visit the BTYR website.

Big picture
Women veterans listen to a guest speaker at the Women Veterans Brunch and Resource Event co-hosted by the Rosemount Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Dakota County Elks at the Rosemount American Legion on March 4.
Big picture
Rosemount Beyond the Yellow Ribbon's next event is a family bowling night for military families.

Events to celebrate Month of the Military Child

April is Month of The Military Child, and numerous events and activities are being held to recognize the important role military-connected youth play in support of their service member parents. There are more than 15,000 children in Minnesota who have at least one parent serving in the National Guard or Reserve,

Here are events and activities for military youth and families.

Letter from the Governor

Big picture

Purple Up Open House at Mall of America

This free event, hosted the Minnesota National Guard Child & Youth Program in partnership with the Mall of America, will be at the Mall of America, Culinary North Space, Level, 3 from noon to 6 p.m. April 14.

Registration is not required to attend the open house. There will be music, air brush tattoos, art station, character appearances, photo booth, snacks, giveaways, and more.

Registration is required for the Build-A-Bear Experience (350 available for military dependents only) and Nickelodeon Wristbands (1,500 available for military dependents only). For those interested in these, visit the registration website to read the FAQs and register.

For more information, e-mail Laura Groeneweg at or call

(651) 268-8695. Or e-mail Mel Egan at or call (651) 268-38378.

Big picture

Month of the Military Child Virtual Spirit Week

This special week will be observed April 10 through 14. There is a week designated especially for teens and another for younger children. This event provides an opportunity for military youth to interact virtually with their fellow military youth from across the nation. For more information, e-mail

Virtual Spirit Week for Teens

Big picture

Virtual Spirit Week for Younger Children

Big picture

Rising to the Challenge National Photo Contest

In celebration of Month of the Military Child, families or a military child can enter this free national contest which runs from April 1 to May 1.

One photo submission per child. The contest is open to all National Guard youth up to age 18. The theme is military children rising to the challenge of being a military child. Winners will be announced in June at One winner from each age category will be named. The age categories are 0 to 5 years, 6 to 12 years, and 13 to 18 years.

For registration information, go to For additional details, e-mail

Big picture
Big picture

Child & Youth Program Photo Contest

The free photo contest will be held from April 1 through 30. E-mail photo submissions, along with 250 words maximum. Photos must have a military child in the photo and part of a military uniform. Photos will be judged on creativity, originality, and evoking sense of service or support. Professional photos are not eligible. For more information, e-mail Mel Egan at or call (651) 268-38378.

Big picture

Child & Youth Program Art Contest

The free art contest will be held April 1 through 30. Art must depict the artist's military pride.

Mail submissions to Laura Groeneweg at 600 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55101. All submissions must be accompanied by a completed entry form.

First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in the following grade categories:

Kindergarten to 2nd grade

3rd to 5th grade

6th to 8th grade

9th to 12th grade

For more details, e-mail Laura Groeneweg at or call

(651) 268-8695.

Big picture

Mark your calendars for these other upcoming events and take advantage of these special offers.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

About Minnesota National Guard Family Programs

Minnesota National Guard Family Programs coordinates with state, federal, and contract personnel to connect, veterans, service members, and their families to resources that help meet their needs. Family Programs promotes awareness and self-reliance in service members and their families by preparing, assisting, and supporting them throughout their military service. To learn more, visit the Family Programs website.

Reach out to us.

Minnesota National Guard Family Programs


Follow Family Program on Facebook and Instagram,
visit the website, and download the app.

Minnesota Beyond the Yellow Ribbon


Follow BTYR on Twitter and Facebook, visit the BTYR website, and
download the app.