02.11.15

SHAHEEN, AYOTTE, LEAHY, SANDERS CALL FOR FULL FEDERAL FUNDING FOR BEYOND YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are calling on the Pentagon to continue its support of the Beyond Yellow Ribbon program, urging the department to utilize all allocated funding for the program. Last year, Congress appropriated $15 million for the Beyond Yellow Ribbon program which connects service men and women and their families with community support, including health care services, marriage and financial counseling, substance abuse treatment, suicide prevention resources, employment services, educational assistance, and more.

“As you have seen first-hand when you have visited state programs, Beyond Yellow Ribbon programs provide community-based outreach services that coordinate state and local resources into a single network to offer critical support to service members before, during, and after deployments,” the Senators wrote. “For several years, these programs have helped thousands of service members, veterans and their family members cope with the challenges associated with deployments and military service.”

Secretary Wightman visited Manchester last September to meet with New Hampshire National Guard officials, care coordinators, and service members and their families to discuss the Guard’s Care Coordination Program, which receives funding through the Beyond Yellow Ribbon program.

Vermont and New Hampshire are two of several states enhancing service member and family outreach efforts, responding to the long-term effects of deployment.

The full text of the letter is available below and here.

February 9, 2015

The Honorable Richard O. Wightman, Jr.

Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Reserve Affairs

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20301-1000

Dear Acting Secretary Wightman:

Thank you for your office’s support for the National Guard and Reserve outreach and reintegration programs.  As the Department implements the fiscal year 2015 defense budget, we would like to draw your attention to the Beyond Yellow Ribbon programs and request that the Department utilize the full $15 million appropriated by Congress to fund existing programs with strong records of success.

As you have seen first-hand when you have visited state programs, Beyond Yellow Ribbon programs provide community-based outreach services that coordinate state and local resources into a single network to offer critical support to service members before, during, and after deployments.  These services include health care, marriage and financial counseling, substance abuse treatment, mental health, suicide prevention, employment services, educational assistance, military sexual assault referrals and other related services.  For several years, these programs have helped thousands of service members, veterans and their family members cope with the challenges associated with deployments and military service.

We look forward to working with you to continue to support these programs and again ask that you do so by ensuring they receive the full $15 million that Congress appropriated with that intention.  Thank you for your commitment to National Guard and Reserve service members and their families.

Sincerely,

                                                                                                                                                           

Jeanne Shaheen                                                                    Patrick J. Leahy

United States Senator                                                         United States Senator

                                                                                                                             

Kelly A. Ayotte                                                                        Bernard Sanders

United States Senator                                                         United States Senator 

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