Monday, 9 January 2012

The Yellow Ribbon Reinteration Program

In keeping with its committed to both the soldier and their families, the Secretary of Defense began a program called the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

The program is an weekend event that provides information, services, referral, and proactive outreach programs to Soldiers of the Army Reserve and their Families through through every step of the deployment cycle.
It's goal is to prepare soldiers and their families for deployment, sustain the familt during deployment, and reintegrate the soldier with his/her family, communite, and employers upon redeployment. 
In Mark's case, this means he goes from being active duty back to reservist status until called up again.
The program includes information on current benefits and resources available to help overcome the challenges of return. The weekends are broken down to 30, 60, and 90-day post-deployment and counts  in Annual Training (AT) status for the soldier. And as stated before, the family is included.

The army realizes that the family is the back bone and has come a long way in assuring to give support to families while their loved ones are done. Plus the need our soldiers have with rentry back to the life they left behind.
We weren't aware of the program until last summer, for we had known, I would have attended the pre-deployment sessions.
But the ones we did attend were great.
This weekend was at a wonderful hotel or lodge in beautiful locations. We met wonderful people and the staff of the Yellow Ribbon are top notch. while they are still working out the bugs, we really had little to complain about.
And while Mark is still looking for work, Yellow Ribbon gave him great leads.
Like mark and I, many companies aren't aware of this amazing resource to their soldiers and their families. Nor are many aware of Strong Bonds, a marriage retreat that the army chaplens have setup with the aim of strenghing the bonds of army marriages.
So, I am doing my part in helping out the word. For sadly, this is one of those miliarty programs that could be done away with thanks to budget cuts. And these two programs are so needful for men and women who have given of their lives to protect and serve. They ask for so little from us as nation. Surely we can make sure they and their families have all the resources they need.
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