NC is home to more than 123,000 military men & women. Over the past sixteen months, the NC National Guard deployed over 4,000 service members to Iraq & Afghanistan. During their deployment, these service members conducted a wide range of missions; they trained Iraqi/Afghanistan Police & Army Forces, assisted in civil projects like school & infrastructure improvements, & conducted joint combat operations with Iraqi/Afghani Security Forces.
Over the next several months, the NC National Guard’s Yellow Ribbon Program will be conducting several Pre-Demobilization, Post Deployment and 30/60 Homecoming/Reunion Briefings for the units listed below. Section 582 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) established a national combat veteran reintegration program to provide National Guard & Reserve Members & their Families with sufficient information, services, referral, & proactive outreach opportunities throughout the entire deployment cycle. This program is known as the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program. Service members and their families are scheduled to attend the Yellow Ribbon events to prepare & to help overcome the challenges of Pre-deployment, Pre-mobilization, deployment, Homecoming/Reunion reintegration briefings.
As part of the weekends, the NC National Guard has requested assistance from the NC Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences programs by providing hands-on, educational activities for the youth ages 5-19. 4-H/FCS agents, 4-H’ers and 4-H volunteers in the surrounding counties schedule time to participate by offering their talents and skills during the week.
Each event will be HUGE, which will require everyone to lend a hand. Mrs. Kristi Wagner, NC National Guard Child & Youth Programs Assistant, will be the point of contact for extension professionals to schedule times they can work throughout the weekend. To help with planning, there will be 10 to 20 youth per group each session each day. The groups have been divided into the following ages: 5-7, 8-11 and 12-19. To help with the cost, NC Operation: Military Kids (OMK) program has a Community Partners Initiative Program that can assist in the purchase of materials and supplies. The forms are located at www.nc4h.org/military/index.html If there are any questions about the Community Partners Initiative program, contact Scott Enroughty, Project Manager, NC Operation: Military Kids (OMK) at 919.515.8500 or firstname.lastname@example.org