In response to a 2010 rise in military suicides and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) among veterans, the Yellow Ribbon Program was enhanced to provide a host of resources for reservists.
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Yellow Ribbon Program Helps Reservists To Reintegrate

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Like their full-time military counterparts, military Reservists often return home after deployment with special needs to re-acclimate to home life and reintegrate to family life after combat service. Oftentimes, Reservists are faced with communities that are unprepared to provide them with the breadth or depth of critical support services they need.

The Yellow Ribbon Program has stepped up to fill the gap in community-oriented support for Reserve service members. In response to a 2010 rise in military suicides and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) among veterans, the Yellow Ribbon Program was enhanced to provide a host of resources aimed at creating an easier transition for Reservists, from active duty to civilian life.

SUPPORT FOR MILITARY RESERVISTS

Between 1990 and 2010, over 787,000 reserve-component military service members were called to duty. Unlike active-duty service members who come home to an established VA support network, Guard and Reserve service members are often left without access to the military services that could help them to return home more easily.

The Yellow Ribbon Program aims to provide for every military service member regardless of location. According to Glenn F. Welling Jr., executive director of Yellow Ribbon Program, participation by military families in YRP is only at 20 percent. Outreach events are aimed at increasing military participation and access to YRP by Reserve service families.

YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM EVENTS

The Yellow Ribbon Program organizes events and services for Reserve service members and military families to learn about military health care, education opportunities, financial, and legal benefits catered to military needs.

To support their goals of full access, Yellow Ribbon events are sponsored by coordinators across the country, with over 500 scheduled events in the first half of 2011. The largest event to date, organized by the Texas National Guard in Houston, drew 1,800 soldiers of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and their military families.

YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM TOPICS

Yellow Ribbon Program topics are based on the military deployment cycle. Pre-deployment Yellow Ribbon Program events include financial management, stress and anger management, suicide prevention, health benefits, powers of attorney and wills.

Post-deployment Yellow Ribbon Program events focus on communication and re-employment rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, such as "Coming Home" sessions focused on re-adjusting to a civilian dialogue that may feel foreign after living and working in military service.

YELLOW RIBBON FAMILY SERVICES

Yellow Ribbon Program events often include youth programs for helping young children and young adults find expression through artistic mediums.

Chaplains and military family life consultants are also present at Yellow Ribbon Program events, to guide discussions and to offer counseling to every member of the military family.

THE FUTURE OF THE YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM

The Yellow Ribbon Program, run by the DoD, the Small Business Administration, Departments of Labor and Veterans Affairs, and other federal partners, is working to show military Reserve Members that physical separation from the military and return to civilian life doesn't have to go along with emotional or social isolation.

The Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) is a DoD project to provide National Guard, Reserve Service members, and their military families with social and practical resources during all stages of military deployment.

The Yellow Ribbon program is also working toward providing job creation and employer support, working with DoD-led Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

There is support available and if you are in the National Guard or military Reserves, there is a Yellow Ribbon Program to help you and your military family.



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