Yellow Ribbon Program Orlando

The weekend before Thanksgiving I had the opportunity to serve with the UMT of the 81st RSC in a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Event in Orlando. Yellow Ribbon events are all about preparing Soldiers and Families for deployment and then coming back from deployment. Our event was an Event 5 (post-deployment), which focused on reintegrating, suicide prevention/awareness, relationship building skills, etc. My block of instruction was on developing healthy and sustained relationships. The content was very similar to material I have taught in the Strong Bonds program, which is why I was tasked with that block. It was a great weekend! The Soldiers and Families were awesome, and I got to do ministry with many new faces.

I was able to take the family with me again. We really enjoy Orlando together (of course, we took a visit to Downtown Disney again). One other experience stands out - in the course of my instruction, I asked if anyone knew the current ratio of positive to negative interactions for healthy relationships. One woman's answer was very close to the info in my packet (which I did not create, by the way - I teach the material I'm given). I told her she was close and that the actual number was such and such. After the block of instruction was over, I talked with her and her husband (a lieutenant colonel) for 5-10 minutes, during which she told me, "I'm a psychologist, and the "actual" number is." I felt SO small! When I mentioned I was going to change my slides she told me not to - that my numbers were the minimum they recommended. They were very gracious and good-natured, though. It turns out that her PhD is from the same school where I did my MDiv - they're good Christian folks. :)

It also seems that I will get to go with the UMT from AR-MEDCOM to do another Yellow Ribbon event (Event 1) in a few weeks. I got the details from the 56M (Chaplain Assistant) the other day, and they are putting my orders together. This event focuses on gearing up to deploy, so it will be a different and learning experience from my last Yellow Ribbon event.

As for waiting, I'm still waiting to take the Oath of Office. The mliitary's "hurry up and wait" policy is in full effect here ;) I've heard it through the grapevine that I could have to wait until January 2011 before I'm officially an Army Reserve Chaplain. I say Hooah!

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