Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 11/21

Nov 21, 2012 Issues: Veterans

Dear Friends,

As we gather in this season of giving thanks, this week's newsletter provides some helpful tips to keep in mind before and after you travel.  This month our Nation also recognizes the rich heritage of Native American communities.  In the spirit of remembering what we're most grateful for, I'd also like to recognize the distinguished "Yellow Ribbon Cities" in the 7th District that demonstrate a dedicated effort to supporting servicemembers and their families.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Native American Heritage Month

Dr. Arthur C. Parker was a vocal proponent of setting a day aside to honor the First Americans.  A Seneca Indian himself, Dr. Parker persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to adopt an annual day of recognition in the early 1900's.  It was decades later in 1990 that President George H.W. Bush approved a national designation of November as National American Indian Heritage Month.  Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994.  There are four tribal nations located in the 7th District: Red Lake Nation, White Earth Nation, and the Upper Sioux and Lower Sioux Communities.  We honor the members of these communities and their rich cultural heritage as we recognize Native American Heritage Month.

Travel Tips

As Thanksgiving approaches, more and more people will be traveling in the coming days to see family over the holiday. Below are some helpful hints as you travel:

If you’ll be flying this holiday season, make sure you have the proper ID and are up to date on the latest carry-on regulations by checking the latest airplane traveler information.  You may also want to learn more about TSA PreCheck, a new program used in some airports across the country (including MSP) to speed up your time through security checkpoints.

If you’ll be driving and spending a lot of time on the roads this holiday season, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a good resource for safe travel before and after the holiday festivities. Before hitting the road, you can be prepared by learning about road closures and national traffic information from the Department of Transportation.

And if you plan to travel abroad, the State Department provides a free service for U.S. citizens: the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP lets you enter your trip information before you travel, so in case of an emergency abroad, the State Department will be able to assist you faster and more easily.  No matter how you are traveling this holiday season, take a few minutes to read up on easy ways to avoid problems, lines, and traffic so you can get straight to enjoying your vacation.

Beyond the Yellow Ribbon

Our Nation's support of soldiers cannot end when they return from deployment; rather, that is when our service to them begins.  A Yellow Ribbon City represents a comprehensive network to connect and coordinate agencies, organizations, resources, and employers in order to proactively support service members and military families.  It is an honor to have so many communities from the 7th District recognized as a Yellow Ribbon City.  I would like to extend my gratitude to these folks who make such a dedicated effort to improving the lives of our servicemembers and their families.





Detroit Lakes

Eden Valley

Fergus Falls


Long Prairie




Thief River Falls



Caregiver Month

In 1997, President Clinton signed the first presidential proclamation celebrating our Nation's family caregivers during the week of Thanksgiving.  Every president since has issued an annual proclamation in appreciation of family caregivers, and the celebration was expanded to become National Family Caregivers Month.  More than 65 million family members, friends, and neighbors in the United States fill this important role on the care team every day.  As we take this time to recognize the compassion and dedication of these important community members, you may also want to learn more about the NFCA Story Project that helps family caregivers share their experiences.