“Veterans’ org Beyond the Yellow Ribbon replaces roof” by Eric Dolski of Faribaut Daily News May 25, 2013
For some, putting new shingles on a roof is routine maintenance. For veteran Stephanie Johnsrud of Faribault, it was an immediate necessity.
“A year after living here, (my insurance company) said they’d cancel me if I didn’t get a new roof,” Johnsrud said.
But with little extra money to spend and roof replacement costs that could run into the thousands of dollars, Johnsrud fell into a difficult situation. This is where Beyond the Yellow Ribbon stepped in.
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a program that supports veterans after they’ve returned home from active duty. It’s aimed at creating awareness of local veterans, connecting service members with organizations that can provide them resources, training, and support, and generally smoothing the transition of service members from military to civilian life.
In Johnsrud’s case, it meant finding a way to replace the roof as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Sgt. John Watson, a service member involved with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon in Faribault, was one person who helped in pulling things together to replace the roof, but he said he was just a small part in the overall project.
“A lot of city leaders, a little bit of everybody came together,” Watson said.
The Faribault Chamber of Commerce provided some of the materials, the Red Cross offered refreshments and helped in the roofing permit process, and local volunteers helped in the actual roofing itself. On Friday, six volunteers–Shawn Armstrong, Matt Hilley, Joel Garten, Mike Feidt, Jim Bowar, and Trent Hilley–were either on Johnsrud’s roof placing shingles or in the yard cutting them.
“First they had to rip up everything,” said Johnsrud’s mother Brenda. Then the volunteers would put up a water barrier, lay tar paper, and lay down the shingles themselves. The whole job would take a few days depending on the weather–rainy days don’t mix well with shingling work. The roofing began around 6 a.m. on Friday, and the Johnsruds guessed it would be finished before Memorial Day.
By then, “Everybody’s gonna be sore,” Brenda Johnsrud said.
But a little soreness goes a long way. The Johnsruds will have one less issue to worry about, and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon fulfills a part of its mission: to help veterans and service members in ways that are often overlooked.
Beyond the Yellow Ribbon has a local branch in Faribault. Their website is www.www.faribaultbtyr.org, where veterans and service members can request help, community members can volunteer, and businesses can offer their services.
“It’s here to help soldiers, or any armed services members,” Brenda Johnsrud said.