by Senior Airman Cody Martin
188th Wing Public Affairs
1/14/2016 - EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ark. -- The
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program was the main topic of discussion
for members of the 188th Wing during a seminar held here Jan. 10, by
Mark McDaniel, Arkansas YRRP coordinator.
The YRRP's mission is to assist, collaborate and partner with the Armed
Services at the lowest level possible in order to provide service
members, veterans and their family members with informational events and
activities, referrals and proactive outreach services throughout the
phases of deployment or mobilization.
"Yellow Ribbon talks about the tools and things that are available for
you to get ready to deploy," said McDaniel. "By doing this, service
members are better integrated back into the norms of society."
There are five types of Yellow Ribbon events. The first is before the
deployment, the second is during the deployment for the family members
left behind and the final three are 30, 60 and 90 days after the
deployment. McDaniel encourages Airmen and their families to participate
in YRRP events throughout the deployment process.
"Those that deploy should come to learn about communication," said
McDaniel. "I think it is crucial for their families to attend because
there are a lot of times where there are misunderstandings that create
differences and puts wedges in place that don't need to be there."
The program also helps service members with post-traumatic stress. The
U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs estimates that 11-20 out of every
100 Veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
have PTSD in a given year.
The YRRP provides avenues for our Guardsmen to get support.
"Since its integration, the YRRP has shown a significant increase in
service members learning to cope with PTSD," said McDaniel. "If we can
help people help themselves and give them the tools to get past what may
have occurred, they can learn to retrain themselves."
The families of our deployed Airmen are also affected during the
deployment. The YRRP is able to provide information, resources, referral
and proactive outreach throughout the deployment cycle.
"I believe not only does the service member serve, the family serves as
well," said Michelle Pike, Airmen and Family Readiness program manager
at the 188th Wing. "That separation is very difficult and we owe it to
our family members to teach them some coping mechanisms and let them
know the types of resources available."
Additional information on the YRRP can be found online at jointservicessupport.org/YRRP.