News: Preparing soldiers, families for mobilization
Story by Sgt. Peter Berardi
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Soldiers of the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and their families attended a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program at the Wyndham Grand hotel in Pittsburgh, Saturday, March 10.
The Yellow Ribbon Programs intent is to prepare soldiers and their families for mobilization and to provide the families with information, services and proactive outreach programs. The 316th ESC is scheduled to deploy this summer and this program will help the soldiers and their families throughout the mobilization and upon redeployment.
Brig. Gen. Bud R. Jameson Jr., commanding general of the 316th ESC, started the event by welcoming the soldiers and their families. Jameson then explained that when he deployed in 2003 there was no event like this for reservists. During that time things were geared towards the needs of active duty soldiers. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a way for Army Reserve soldiers and their families to get the information and resources they need for deployments and mobilizations.
Before the first vendor, Sarah Young, a ten-year-old Brackenridge, Pa. native, took the stage. Sarah hand makes rosaries for soldiers and attended the event to thank all of those present for their service. She then remained with the other vendors and met with 316th soldiers and their family members, handing out rosaries.
Some of the organizations that talked to the soldiers and their families included Tricare, the American Red Cross, Military One Source and the 316th ESC Family Readiness Group. The briefings gave attendees information that will be useful to them during the upcoming deployment and also the chance to ask questions of these subject matter experts.
Pvt. David Wolf’s mother Arleen Wolf, a Pittsburgh native, said, “the social worker talking about what to say or not and what to expect when they get home was very helpful.” Chaplain Capt. Demetrius Walton talking about the cycles of what soldiers go through was excellent to hear also, added Arleen.
Allie Cygnarowicz, a native of Pittsburgh, whose husband Spc. Stephen Cygnarowicz is mobilizing with the 316th ESC, said, the event definitely gave them a lot of information. “Tricare was very helpful, the finance stuff was helpful also,” said Allie.
After the lunch break Operation Military Kids, a volunteer program by Penn State College, stopped by. The volunteers handed out backpacks, that they call “Hero Packs,” to all of the children in attendance that were four-years-old and older. For the children that were younger, they handed out blue teddy bears that were provided by the American Legion Auxiliary.
All in all, the event was a great success for the soldiers and their families. “We can accomplish our mission and will bring your loved ones back home,” said 316th ESC Chief of Staff Col. David Brown, the closing speaker.
For further information on the 316th ESC or its soldiers please contact Sgt. 1st Class Brian Scott at (412) 523-1478 ESC316PAOFTS@usar.army.mil