TYSONS CORNER, Va. -- U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. James “JJ” Jackson, chief of the Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, spoke with Tysons Corner Yellow Ribbon event attendees and offered encouragement for families going through the deployment process Sept. 15, 2012, in Tysons Corner, Va. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Megan Tomkins)
TYSONS CORNER, Va. -- U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. James “JJ” Jackson, chief of the Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, met with Dover Air Force Base mortuary affairs deployers and thanked them for their service, Sept. 15, 2012, in Tysons Corner, Va. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Megan Tomkins)
10/14/2012 - TYSONS CORNER, Va. -- The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a Department of Defense program for Reservists and Guardsmen to provide helpful information and resources before and after deployments.
Examples of the resources available at the events are Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), financial management, Veterans Management and the Small Business Administration.
This congressionally funded program allows Reservists and Guardsmen to attend a total of three events: one prior to deployment and two after they get home.
Two special guests attended the event held at The Sheraton Premier Hotel here Sept. 14-16. Dr. Jarris L. Taylor, deputy assistant secretary, Strategic Diversity Integration, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Lt. Gen. James "JJ" Jackson, chief of the Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, spoke with the attendees and provided them with words of encouragement.
Jackson said he is a big supporter of this program since he attended as command leadership at the Arlington event last year.
"Now that I'm the chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, I get to view the Yellow Ribbon Program through a different lens," said Jackson. "One [lens] in which events like this hold even more meaning for me."
He explained how important the program is for Reservists and Guardsmen.
"I find it valuable, because it honors you, our Citizen Airmen, and the incredible families and loved ones that support them," said Jackson. "This program recognizes, as do I that families are critical to making this all work, which allows us to do the nation's work."
Jackson reminded the attendees the importance of balancing the Air Force, employers and families, known as the Reserve Triad, and how they are not alone in accomplishing this balance.
"You know the difficulty in keeping this balance, especially with deployments," said Jackson. "On deployment we ask you to focus on the Air Force, the mission and the nation's needs, and as a consequence you sacrifice relationships, both family and employer."
Jackson expressed his thanks to the Reservists and Guardsmen for their sacrifice and service, but also took the opportunity to recognize how grateful he was for the families as well.
"I thank the families for being strong on the home front," Jackson said. "You can have some of the toughest duties."
He continued, "This program offers the tools and expertise to help facilitate the bonding of family. So please, take advantage of this time to connect with family in a special way. Because in the end, after the career is over and the retirement flag is displayed, family is what remains."