NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Spc. Roderick Nesbitt and his fiancé Tiana Small turned their thoughts from wedding and honeymoon plans to education and finance resources provided at the Army Reserve's Yellow Ribbon event held Nov. 18-20 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center here.
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a Department of Defense-wide effort to promote the well-being of reserve-component service members, their families and communities by connecting them with resources throughout the deployment cycle.
"I hope to get some educational tips -- you can never get enough education," said Nesbitt, a human resources specialist with the 912th Adjutant General Company in Miami, Florida, who is a freshman at Saint Leo University. "Also, tips on spending money wisely, saving money, and how to invest in the Thrift Savings Plan."
"I'd like information on how to deal with stress and cope with different things," said Small, who experienced some difficulty in being separated during Nesbitt's recent deployment. "It was hard not being able to go to him, because I'm so used to him being there all the time."
Nesbitt's and Small's primary concerns -- education, finances, managing deployments -- are shared by many of their fellow Army Reserve Soldiers and family members, and served as the catalyst for the Yellow Ribbon Program's launch in 2008 in an effort to provide information and resources Soldiers need to reintegrate with their families, their communities and their employers following a deployment.
By promoting Soldiers' and family members' well-being, the Army Reserve is not only doing what is right, but also bolstering its number-one priority -- readiness. Only by maintaining a high level of readiness can the Army Reserve remain the most capable, combat-ready and lethal federal force in the nation's history.
"If an Army Reserve Soldier is satisfied with what he or she has going on in the civilian world, they're able to bring that to the military," Nesbitt said. "If that Soldier is stressed out about the civilian world, he's not ready to deploy because he's thinking about other things."
"When the Soldier deploys, we want to make sure that he or she is comfortable and knows that their family members are going to be taken care of," explained Kenneth Moore, chief, Programs and Services Division for the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command. "By doing that, the Soldier is mentally and physically comfortable and they'll be able to do whatever job they have to do without worrying about what's going on back home."
This Yellow Ribbon event was hosted by the 99th RSC, whose mission it is to provide personnel, equipment and facilities support to help ensure Soldier and unit readiness throughout its 13-state region. For more information on the Yellow Ribbon program, visit http://www.yellowribbon.mil/yrrp/