Soldiers get help easing into civilian life - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Soldiers get help easing into civilian life

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program helps soldiers transition from active duty to civilian life.

"You don't expect to see the same things you see in a war zone; you're hoping not. You've got to watch yourself, what you do and what you say to people. If you don't, you just might flip," said Staff Sergeant Frankie Beamon. 

Beamon is one of many soldiers working to transition from a war zone to civilian life after returning from a tour of duty, something that can be a stressful process for soldiers and families alike. 

"My experience is, it's like you've got to get back in the groove of getting up, going to a job and being around your kids and all that," explained Beamon.

However, Beamon and other soldiers have a little help from the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

According to state director, Major Joe Hardaman, the program eases soldiers back into everyday life by providing a support system. 

"We try to bring together all the resources for the state and federal government, bring them all together under one roof where service members and their families talk to them about situations that are specific to their family," said Hardaman.

Representative Gene Taylor (D) Fourth District, said it's important to show support for soldiers with this program. 

"It's mental health. It's regular health. It's job opportunities; it is educational opportunities. It's helping get the families together, keep the team together. All those things are really, really important, and it's great that the nation is funding this and that the state is really leaning forward and making it happen," said Taylor. 

According to Hardaman, the program helps answer questions about getting jobs, continuing education, finances and even counseling. 

"What it is we want them to know, is that whatever issue it is that they have that they are not alone, and that there are avenues for help. And there are resources available," Hardaman said. 

The Yellow Ribbon program is done within 60 days of soldiers returning from a tour of duty.  The current program is for the 155th Infantry Regiment. 

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