HERSHEY, Pa. -- When Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Moore retired from the Army Reserve this past November after a 30-year military career, he bid an emotional farewell to his extended Army family with whom he had served for more than half his life.
During the Army Reserve's Yellow Ribbon reintegration event at the Hershey Lodge this past weekend, Moore proved that family ties are hard to break as he returned as a member of the support staff to share his knowledge and experience with Army Reserve Soldiers and their families.
"Giving back is your duty," said Moore, whose final military assignment was as a finance NCO with the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. "You need to give back regardless of what you do."
Moore and the other event staff members provided support for hundreds of Army Reserve Soldiers and family members during the Yellow Ribbon event, which provided Soldiers and families access to subject-matter experts in areas such as healthcare, education, employment, and financial and legal benefits.
"I had other obligations this weekend on the business side, but I said, 'Yeah, I'll come, you guys took care of me and now I'm going to take care of you,'" explained Moore, who is starting up a cigar business he plans to launch on Father's Day.
The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a Department of Defense-wide effort to promote the well-being of Soldiers and families by connecting them with key resources throughout the deployment cycle. Soldiers and family members attend weekend events at regular intervals prior to, during and following deployments.
"I don't mind coming back and contributing where I can," said Moore, who deployed several times during his career. "Since I am retired, I may be able to give some input on the next phase for some Soldiers who are here."
Moore continues to contribute now that he is retired, whether as a Yellow Ribbon staff member, a small-business owner, or a member of veterans' organizations such as the United States Armed Forces Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
"That's just the kind of person I am -- I always try to take care of people," Moore said.
In addition to hosting Yellow Ribbon events, the 99th RSC provides facilities, programs and services to service members, civilians and their families in the northeast region in order to support Army readiness, sustain the All-Volunteer Force, and ensure infrastructure for current and future mission requirements.
For more information on the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, visit http://www.yellowribbon.mil/yrrp/