Today the U.S. House of Representatives approved $1,200,000 for the Yellow Ribbon Campaign of the Oregon National Guard announced Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) who requested the funding for the project. The funding is included in the FY2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
“We need to do everything we can to lessen the burden on service members and their families during deployment and upon their return,” said Schrader. “These funds will assist the Oregon National Guard in partnering with local communities which is the key to a successful re-integration effort.”
The Yellow Ribbon Campaign continues to help Oregon National Guard members and their families throughout the deployment/activation cycle, by assisting with facilitating services from the many agencies for physical and mental health, benefits, family counseling, job searches and employment.
The Oregon National Guard was quick to express their support and enthusiasm for the funding.
"We are very excited about receiving additional resources to help our Reintegration efforts especially with this large deployment of 3,000 soldiers currently in Iraq,” said Major General Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General Oregon National Guard. “We have learned through a lot of hard work and by forging partnerships with multiple agencies that taking care of our soldiers and their families before during and after a deployment is critical to our success. These funds will help us maintain the level of service that they deserve."
Oregon was one of the first states in the country to put together what has now become known as the "Yellow Ribbon Campaign" dealing with National Guard Reintegration. With very limited federal funds the Oregon National Guard sought and received assistance from the Oregon Legislature and built a unique program to assist soldiers and families with the strains that federal mobilizations create before during and after a deployment. The Oregon National Guard Reintegration Program has been recognized as one of the most progressive and innovative programs in the nation.
The differences between the House and Senate versions of the FY2010 Department of Defense Appropriations bill will need to be worked out in conference before Congress sends a final bill to President Barack Obama for his signature.