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NEWS | Dec. 7, 2016

Soldiers, Families Share Deployment Stories While Preparing, Returning from Overseas

By Zachary Mott 88th Regional Support Command

MINNEAPOLIS (December 4, 2016) – Supporting warfighters and their families is a key focus of the Yellow Ribbon programs operated by the 88th Regional Support Command. During the most recent event, held in the Minnesota capital, more than 500 U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and their family members attended the three-day event from December 2 to 4.

“Everything we do at Yellow Ribbon is geared toward readiness,” said John Venner, the Yellow Ribbon Program director for the 88th RSC.

Attendees received a plethora of resources and points of contact for services ranging from personal finance to family reintegration following a deployment.

“The Yellow Ribbon Program, as a whole, is supporting the families and Soldiers as they deploy and redeploy,” said Brig. Gen. Stephen E. Strand, deputy commanding general for the 88th RSC. “It’s particularly focused on building the readiness with the families as that Soldier is deployed.”

Each of the four separate groups at this Yellow Ribbon event focus on a different part of the deployment/redeployment process. There is one pre-deployment, one during deployment and two post-deployment groups.

“It helps them prepare financially, emotionally and how to communicate with a spouse; the basic preparations for what they need to do to help set up the family members … to let them know what’s going to happen,” said 1st Sgt. Thomas Collins, the senior enlisted leader from the U.S. Army Reserve’s 79th Military Police Company based in Wabasha, Minnesota.

The 79th MP Company is in the pre-deployment phase of the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The 88th RSC hosts these events throughout the year at various locations throughout the 19-state region that comprises its area of responsibility.