Yellow Ribbon program helping ease post-deployment issues

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Some soldiers who just returned from their tour in Iraq were at a post-deployment event. Now, commanders and other leaders with the Mississippi Army National Guard are trying to help the men and women get things back to normal.

"We cover anger management, post traumatic stress," said Major Joseph Hardman.

Hardman is the director of the Yellow Ribbon Re-integration Program.

"We have the best equipment in the world, and we have the best training in the world," Hardman said. "This Yellow Ribbon Programs lets us give the best personal support that we can offer."

The three-phase program helps soldiers and their families pre-deployment, during deployment and once they return home.

Shan and Heather Seymour have been married for three years.

"I left her a few days before our second anniversary and I got home just in time for our third anniversary," Shan said. "It's hard leaving my wife at home alone."

For ten months the young couple was separated while Seymour served his first tour in Iraq, but they say the Yellow Ribbon program made there time apart easier.

Heather Seymour said, "It was nice to know that there were other people out there going through the same thing that I was."

Now the Seymours and hundreds of others are spending the weekend learning about a number of resources that will help with their transition, so that the next tour will be easier for these brave soldiers and their families.

The Yellow Ribbon Re-integration Program is a part of the National Defense Service Act of 2008.

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