NEWS | Aug. 2, 2016

Yellow Ribbon Event Helps Prepare Soldiers and Families For Deployment Challenges

By Sgt. 1st Class Brent Powell 335th Signal Command (Theater)

ATLANTA – More than 150 Soldiers, civilians and family members from various commands across country, made their way through the hustle and bustle of downtown recently to attend a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event held here July 29-31, 2016. Established more than 15-years-ago, the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program was created to provide Reserve Soldiers and their families with information, services, referrals and proactive outreach opportunities throughout the entire deployment cycle.

 Its goal is to effectively prepare Soldiers and families for mobilization, sustain families during the mobilization process and reintegrate Soldiers with their families, communities and employers upon redeployment or release from active duty.

The first day of the event was designed to be a travel day allowing all attendees to get registered and booked into lodging.  The day also allowed Soldiers and family members time to relax, and possibly take in some of the cities many attractions.

Day two of the event kicked off with a breakfast buffet, followed by a welcoming motivational speech and the introduction of approximately 20 vendors and service providers who were on hand to provide a wealth of information, available services and even some free trinkets to attendees.

After the introductions, the crowd broke into smaller groups and attended various classes such as how to cope with stress, exploring personality traits, financial planning, legal considerations as well as a host of others.  They were also given the opportunity to visit with the vendors.

“These events are extremely important to both Soldiers and their family members,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie Farmer, Command Sergeant Major for the 335th Signal Command (Theater). “First of all it provides families with a window into the Army process, while giving them a chance to come together and talk about various benefits and the ABCs of Army life.  Secondly, it provides the Soldiers with the opportunity to see the support available to their family members, and know that their families will be well taken care of during their deployment.”

Everyone attending seemed to gather some useful information from the event, whether it was their first yellow ribbon or their fifth.

“This is the first Yellow Ribbon event I’ve attended since joining the Army Reserve,” said Sgt. Jahmel Borden, a network administrator and native of Savannah, Georgia, currently assigned to the 359th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade, 335th Signal Command (Theater).  “Although I learned a lot of this information from being on four deployments with the active Army, it’s a good refresher and it’s pretty helpful.”

Day three of the event provided more opportunities to visit with the vendors on-hand as well as more informative classes.   

“I didn’t really know what to expect at first,” said Ashlyn Borden, wife of Sgt. Borden.  “But the experience has been great.  This has given us a chance to get away together and learn about the opportunities available to us, while enjoying a really nice facility.  I would definitely recommend this to other spouses.”
Sgt. Borden and his wife attended the event in preparation for his upcoming deployment scheduled later this year.

If interested in attending a Yellow Ribbon event, contact your unit Yellow Ribbon representative or visit the Yellow Ribbon website: