With so many brave men and women overseas fighting for the freedom that we enjoy, it only stands to reason that a program like the yellow ribbon program would pop up. There are plenty of ways that this program benefits the men and women that have come home from war and their families. In order to understand the program, it is important to understand a bit of background on the yellow ribbon itself.
What Does the Yellow Ribbon Mean?
As the old song goes, “tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree,” a yellow ribbon shows support for the troops and shows that the family of the home with the yellow ribbon is waiting for someone to come home. Yellow is the official color of the armor branch of the Army. This ribbon signifies that the people in the home or the bearer are waiting for someone to come home from war. They could also be directly related to someone that has been in war or is currently serving. Yellow is also traditionally the color of friendship and forgiveness, making it a natural color for this ribbon.
Families in Wartime
In many cases, those that are left behind in war have as much trouble as those that are fighting. They may not be getting shot at or may not be crushing opposing forces, but they are dealing with plenty on their own. These individuals are often dealing with a loved one being gone, with only one income, and with the struggles of taking care of a family and working with only one parent. That being said, the yellow ribbon program works to help those that are left behind in war as well as those that are overseas. Families are often the ones that are most affected by someone going to war and children are often left to wonder why their mother or father is gone. This program helps in many ways.
What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?
The yellow ribbon program is a program that was put into place to help achieve a few different things. First off, it was put into place as a response to all those people that are coming back from war and that have no job, no home, and no hope. These people are those that are affected negatively by the war and by their own war efforts. It is necessary that many of these people need help when they return. Many veterans have post traumatic stress disorder, they have no jobs, they have no real way of making a living which means that those affected are often left in dire straights.
The yellow ribbon program was put into place to help these veterans and their families in a number of different ways. This help is broken up into a few different subcategories that all fall under the yellow ribbon program umbrella.
A. Yellow Ribbon Program Schools
One branch is for those children that are in school. This branch of the program helps those that are in need of help in dealing with their family member being overseas. This program also helps by taking up money, supplies, and other goods to send overseas to make those that are stationed overseas a bit more comfortable. This program is something that gets children involved and helps them get to know what it feels like to have someone that is overseas and to help those that need help. This also helps to raise awareness and really educate those that may not know first hand what having someone overseas is like.
B. Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program
Another branch of this program that is very helpful is of course the suicide prevention program. This program does a few different things. First off, it offers counseling and therapy for those that have survivor’s guilt and that have been to war. Those that have been to war often come back with post traumatic stress disorder which makes it hard to get jobs, hard to live with other people, and hard to survive in the world that they were once accustomed. This program helps those veterans learn how to deal with the changes that occurred both in them and in the world while they were away making it less likely that they will commit suicide upon return home. It helps those veterans that feel as if death is the only way out to find another path and get back to normal.
C. Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program
Another branch of the program is of course the reintegration program. This is a program that helps those returning veterans assimilate to life in their old world. Often, veterans come back to a changed world. Though they are only gone for a few years, much changes while they are gone that they may not have been aware of due to their being cut off from the rest of the world while deployed. Often, veterans come back and feel as if they are not part of the world that they left behind.
The reintegration program helps those veterans come back and really get back to normal life. This program offers therapy, counseling, job search efforts, and more. This program can also help veterans pay for medication if they need it and can help them find jobs when they get home. The reintegration program helps those veterans get back to their lives and really get back to the lives that they left behind when they deployed.
D. Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program
This branch of the program helps veterans to attain higher education so that they can get the jobs they dreamed of when they are no longer part of the armed services. It offers grants to schools to allow veterans the opportunity to attend college free of charge to further their own knowledge. This allows veterans to attend schools that are above the state tuition cap which means that they are able to go to schools that are highly ranked.
This program is much like the traditional GI Bill but it extends the bill a bit. Though the traditional GI Bill has changed quite a bit, it is still in effect but this bill helps those veterans that cannot afford to pay for college go to the schools that they want. This program is on a first come first serve basis, which means that if a veteran wants to get funding, they should quickly send in their application.
E. Yellow Ribbon Education Program
The last branch of the program is of course to help educate people about war, and how people are affected both when they are deployed and when they return. The educational part of the program helps to teach people what happens to soldiers when they go overseas, help those that are currently deployed, and even to educate those that are not part of the war at all. It also allows people to donate money so that these programs can continue to grow and run helping the soldiers that were sent overseas become part of the world that they left behind.
What Can We Do?
There are a few different things that anyone can do to help this program. First and foremost, you can donate time and money to the program to help get the information out there. Though there is no real end to war in sight or to war in general, there are ways that we can help protect and help out veterans as they return from war. There are ways that we can help. Knowing about the yellow ribbon foundation is one way that we can help get the program up and running and get veterans back in the swing of things when they return from war. Though it is hard to go to war and return, these people can help these veterans come back to themselves and their normal lives. The yellow ribbon program is a great program that has been in place for a few years and is now starting to grow and change.