Family, minus deployed father, to attend dinner

by Don Heinzman

ECM Publishers

While her husband, Sgt. Anthony Erickson is serving with an engineering company in Afghanistan, Christine Erickson is surrounded by help from family members and support from the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Elk River.

Two of her children, Abigail and Reece, and their grandmother will be attending the dinner for military families Monday at 6 p.m. at the Church of St. Andrew. Christine Erickson will be taking her daughter Madison to a dance practice that night.

Mayor John Dietz will give a short talk before the dinner. State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer has also accepted a dinner invitation.

Christine Erickson, who has attended the two previous dinners, said wives of deployed soldiers can depend on the Yellow Ribbon organization if something goes wrong, like an appliance that needs repair or a car that breaks down.

Fortunately her parents, Chuck and Marge Rick and her husband’s parents, Steven and Phyllis Erickson, have been helping her immensely on weekends, along with her husband’s two brothers.

She, the children and Anthony Erickson are able to talk and to see one another through Skyping, which eases the anxiety of the children.

Christine Erickson’s biggest challenge is making sure that everything gets done for the family, since she now must make decisions as one.   She prioritizes what needs to be done for the help she has.

Christine Erickson said the hardest part of her husband leaving to serve for 10 months was preparing herself emotionally. People at the dinners have been helpful for her. The Ericksons have been married for 12 years and live in Elk River. Anthony Erickson has been a member of the National Guard for 14 years. He left for Afghanistan in March.

She is a social worker for Anoka County. Abigail and Madison attend Twin Lakes Elementary School and Reece attends a pre-school at Central Lutheran Church.

The dinner is for active military, reservists, National Guard, veterans and their families.

Those who plan to attend can register by calling 763-441-1483.

For directions to the church, go to