Servicemembers and their families face a number of substantial challenges. Whether they're coping with having a loved one deployed overseas or navigating the process of re-integrating into civilian life, it's important for military families to reach out to the myriad service available to them. While it's sometimes not clear what benefits they have at their disposal, the Department of Defense's Yellow Ribbon Program hopes to change that.
The Yellow Ribbon Program offer a variety of services ranging from tuition assistance to suicide prevention, and a recent event at Fort Washington in Maryland helped show military families what assistance they could take advantage of, reports WTOP-FM. Program manager Jeff Campbell says it's important for families to focus on more than just one aspect of military life.
"The program itself, the purpose of it, is to make sure the families are stabilized when the service member is serving the country," he told the radio station. "Also, when [servicemembers] return, to give them integration tools in order to get back with the family to hit the ground and run again."
DOD officials launched the Yellow Ribbon Program in an effort to specifically help National Guardsmen and Reserves, something which is especially important given the last decade-plus of war. Since 2001, hundreds of thousands of Reserves and Guardsmen have been called up to active duty service.