New York National Guard Soldiers, Families Participate in Reintegration Program in Westchester

Media Advisory

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (08/23/2013)(readMedia)-- More than 600 New York Army National Guard Soldiers and family members of the 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion will take part in the New York Army National Guard's Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program on Saturday, August 24, at the Marriott Hotel in Tarrytown. The Soldiers returned from deployment to Afghanistan in June.

WHO: Approximately 600 Soldiers and family members of the New York Army National Guard's 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion. Most of the Soldiers are from the New York City area, with the unit based in Yonkers.

WHAT: A 30-day Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Event at which the combat veterans and their families will learn about the benefits they can take advantage of, as well as some of the stresses service members and their families experience following a combat deployment.

WHEN: Media is invited to visit the check-in and opening events between 10 a.m. and noon.

WHERE: Westchester Marriott Hotel, 670 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591

Coverage Opportunities:

Coverage opportunities include interviews with Soldiers and family members and New York National Guard leaders about the Yellow Ribbon program and the reintegration process. There is also an opportunity to observe the "provider fair" which is part of the event. Media should contact Col. Richard Goldenberg at 518-727-7314 for access to the event.


101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion

The 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion provides and manages satellite communications and information systems support to combat forces across a military theater. Their support includes network operations and management of the electromagnetic spectrum. Signal support encompasses designing, installing, maintaining, and managing information networks; to include communications links, computers, and other components of local and wide area networks.

Soldiers belonging to the battalion plan, install, operate, and maintain voice and data communications networks that employ single and multi-channel satellite, tropospheric scatter, terrestrial microwave, switching, messaging, video-teleconferencing, visual information, and other related systems. They also integrate tactical, strategic and sustaining base communications, information processing and management systems into a seamless global information network that supports knowledge dominance for Army, joint and coalition operations.

The battalion, an Echelon above Corps signal unit, is based in Yonkers, N.Y. with elements in Peekskill and Orangeburg.

The Soldiers left New York in August 2012 to train for their overseas deployment. The 101st Signal Battalion deployed to Afghanistan in September 2012 and provided communications support to American and coalition forces, returning home to New York in June 2013.

The Yellow Ribbon Program:

The New York Army National Guard Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is an effort to help Soldiers and their families cope with the stress of returning to civilian life after deployment, while helping Army National Guard units transition from their federal status back to state control.

The program requires Soldiers to be present for paid assemblies at 30 and 60 day The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program requires Soldiers to be present for paid assemblies at 30 and 60 days after their return from a combat zone, and invites families to attend as well. The sessions are held in a non-military environment to provide Soldiers and families a chance to share experiences and talk frankly with each other and counselors about their experiences.

Each Soldier is given the opportunity to talk to a Veterans Administration counselor and information on jobs, education, careers and health care is made available.

National Guard Soldiers are put back in touch with people who shared and understand their experience, at about the time the "honeymoon phase" of their homecoming starts fading. And with their families by their side, they hear about benefits and programs such as veterans' benefits, education and job opportunities and available support networks.

At two months, there are briefings on anger management, substance abuse, compulsive behaviors, financial management and other topics. Army studies have found that these issues occur at about those times. Again, spouses and families are invited along and the National Guard pays for the hotel for this session.

After 90 days, the Soldiers return to regular drilling status and report to their Armory for medical checks and additional briefings.

The program is constantly changing as the National Guard learns more about how to help Soldiers come home from combat.