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NEWS | Jan. 19, 2016

63rd RSC hosts first Yellow Ribbon experience of 2016

By Sgt. Grace Pak 63rd Regional Readiness Command

DALLAS – The 63rd Regional Support Command Yellow Ribbon Program hosted their first event of the year at the Hilton Anatole, here, Jan. 15-17, for both pre and post deployment events.

The purpose of the event and the entire Yellow Ribbon Program is to provide soldiers and their families with information, services, referrals and outreach opportunities throughout the entire deployment cycle, said Daria Y. Mediano, the 63rd RSC chief of programs and services.   

“We connect attendees to local resources through informational briefings and community partners at our events,” Mediano said.

Attendees checked in on Jan. 15 to receive agendas and information for the weekend, and later dined together at the mandatory reception in the evening.  In addition to serving as an icebreaker, the YRP team briefed the attendees with an overview of the weekend.  

W. K. Jones, chief of the 63rd RSC’s wellbeing division, emceed the reception and general sessions during the weekend and said the sessions are important events for attendees.

“It is the nucleus for all operations within Yellow Ribbon as far as the attendees’ experience is concerned,” Jones said.  “The general sessions help attendees direct their attention on getting the most out of the event.”

The 63rd RSC focuses on post-deployments in their events and strives to provide relevant and engaging classes for their attendees, said Emily Conely, the instructor manager of the event.  

As such, attendees have the option to choose classes during the event, such as savings and investing or behavioral health improvement, retirement services or how to manage one’s military career and Covey’s 7 Habits or increasing mental resiliency.

Additionally, the 335th Sustainment Command (Theater) hosted a joint event in conjunction with the 63rd RSC for their pre-deployment attendees.  Topics included in their curriculum covered Military OneSource, communication plans, safety and resilience, suicide prevention and behavioral health briefs.  

All events provide ample time for attendees to interact with community partners during the weekend, said Rena Olsen, a volunteer serving as the community partner manager during the weekend’s event. 

Attendees were able to ask questions and gain contact information from a variety of resources such as Red Cross, Troops to Teachers, Navy Federal Credit Union, and American Military University among others. 

“Community partners are a vital part of any [YRP] event and provide a variety of services, such as financial planning, behavioral counseling, legal assistance, job referral programs and education benefits,” Olsen explained.

Providing soldiers with information they will retain and use in the long-term future is critical, Mediano said.

“At the 63rd RSC, we don’t just have events, our goal is to make an experience for our soldiers and their families to take back home,” she said.