ELK RIVER, Minn - For the thousands of Minnesotans serving our country, simply saying thank you doesn't seem to be enough.
The city of Elk River hopes to be kind of place, you'd want to stop and salute.
It all started with Ralph Donais' vision for his hometown.
"I am a 30-year retired marine, some people play golf, some fish, I do veterans issues," he said.
He made sure history now decorates the old Main Street, as Elk River became the 143rd Minnesota city to proudly pin on a yellow ribbon as part of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign.
Donais urged Elk River Mayor John Dietz to help the city join the organization.
"When your husband goes up fishing up north and the car breaks down, you only have to wait until Monday to get it fixed. But what if he is not coming home for a year? That is what the yellow ribbon is all about," said Donais, who is chairman of the United Veterans Legislative Council of Minnesota. "We would like to see this from my standpoint all the way across the entire state."
The pride even drew our state's top commander, Gov. Mark Dayton. The city had not had a visit from a governor since Jesse Ventura.
"I have deep admiration for the heroism, patriotism and courage," said Dayton.
Dietz has proclaimed next week Beyond the Yellow Ribbon week. Banners are already hanging over Highway 10, on the main thoroughfare, and more will follow.
The Yellow Ribbon promise even includes a boost from businesses. Bruce Tyler says he will offer expertise from his human resources company. He formed a committee to help veterans find jobs.
"Help them find work and understand what employers are looking for," said Tyler. "It's the right thing to do."
Around the corner, Sweet P's Ice Cream and Candies joined the campaign, promising veterans an extra serving of gratitude.
"A lot of people in my family are military members. My father, brother-in-laws, I like to support them, and look what they are doing for our country right now," said owner Tim Jeanetta.
Just more proof, Elk River also the kind of place to come home.
Learn more at www.beyondtheyellowribbon.org.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)