First Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event a success

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(U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

The 162nd Wing’s Air Wing Integrator hosted her first Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event on April 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn Tucson International Airport.

Christina Desiato began working here last September with a purpose, to assist deployed service members throughout the deployment cycle, and the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is her number one priority.

“The program is mandated by the Department of Defense, but it is for the service members and their families,” said Desiato.

Airmen from the 162nd Wing were mobilized for more than six months, and the event was an opportunity to learn about resources available to assist them reintegrate into their families and communities.

“All of the information given about the benefits that we are eligible for and that are available for help if we need it was helpful,” said Staff Sgt. Mitchell Winegardner, a security forces specialist.

Representatives from 13 organizations were present to meet with service members and their families, including the American Red Cross, Military OneSource, Tricare and more. The resources are aimed at meeting the challenges of deployments for service members and their families such as financial burdens, legal services, health care, peer support services and employment opportunities.

During his opening remarks, the Vice Wing Commander, Col. Kenneth Rosson encouraged attendees to utilize the resources available to them.

“We care about you and the people here today have resources to offer,” said Rosson. “It is tough to reintegrate and these folks are here to say I am here, let me help.”

Members that attended agreed the event was well organized and informative.

Each attendee received gift cards and other goodies from the Airman and Family Readiness Office, Jim Click Automotive and the women of Quail Creek to thank them for their service.

Desiato encouraged members to think of the event as an opportunity to benefit from what the community has to offer and to contact if they need assist assistance finding resources to meet their needs.

“I am very grateful and honored to be able to be part of the 162nd Wing,” said Desiato.