Military News

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Yellow Ribbon program helps Airmen readjust after deployment

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

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