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NEWS | April 21, 2016

The 3rd Army Augmentation, 76th Operational Response Command, attends initial Yellow Ribbon

By Maj. Michael Garcia 76th U.S. Army Reserve Operational Response Command

CHICAGO – The 3rd Army Augmentation, 76th Operational Response Command, based out of Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, attended their initial Yellow Ribbon event with their families in Chicago, Illinois, April 15-17, 2016.

“Please take all the time in the world while you’re here to get to know one another.  It is your chain for everything that you need for resources and support,” said Col. Michael Pullen, Chief of Staff of 3rd Medical Command Deployment Support.  “My wife is not here because my wife could do it all.  That’s right, every single one of you could do it all.  We have the strongest people on earth right here.  I love you all,” he added.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is designed to prepare Soldiers and families for deployment, helping families during deployment, and reintegrating Soldiers into society, into their family upon returning home.

During the event, the Soldiers and family members were provided with sufficient information, services and other benefits such as Family Programs, Education Resource Information, chaplain advice, Tricare Programs, USAA banking, Veterans Administration benefits, Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR), and more.

Retired Col. William Hawes, Army Reserve Ambassador, spoke about how Soldiers having problems when they return home from deployment.  He said that the Yellow Ribbon provides numerous opportunities to mitigate some of these problems.  

“Some of the resources that you will learn about here today and post deployment may help you in solving your battle buddy’s problem because there’s nothing more discouraging than some of the results we have and reports we have, suicide, people coming home homelessness of veterans, and unemployment of veterans,” he said.  

He encouraged everyone to follow through some of the opportunities that the Yellow Ribbon programs provide, because he believes that these problems can be solved.  “Everybody who’s in that room is here just to help you.  So I want to thank you for your dedication, wish you the best during your mobilization and thank you to the families,” said Hawes.

1st Lt. Yan Li of the 3rd Army Augmentation is one of the Soldiers that will be deploying with the unit.  

This will be Li’s second deployment, but first deployment overseas.  She will be working as the Joint Visitor Bureau operations officer, which entails escorting distinguish visitors, and planning and coordinating their itineraries.  “I am excited to work with the group that I am here with for the Yellow Ribbon.  

Everyone has a story to tell and I’m willing to learn, and wanted to get some more experience and this is going to help me build my military career,” she said.