Minn. Nat'l Guard takes over military family programby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
Rochester, Minn. — The Minnesota National Guard will take over a program providing support for the state's military families.
Mary Pawlenty launched the Military Family Care Initiative in 2003 as a web-based effort to connect community-based organizations with military families in need. It has been run out of her office until now, but her husband Tim Pawlenty is stepping down as governor in January.
She said volunteers from hundreds of groups around the state have helped lessen the burden on military families during deployments.
"It's a very simple concept and it's worked well; it's worked efficiently," she said. "It's worked in a terrific way to allow Minnesotans to indicate that they're willing to do simple things like clean a garage, mow the grass, shovel the sidewalk, bring a meal, anything of that sort."
Pawlenty said the program will continue to help families lighten the burden during a deployment. More than 2,000 Minnesota Guard members will head to Iraq and Kuwait next year.