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Yellow Ribbon rep connects resources, deploying Airmen

Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Chavez, 919th SOW Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program specialist, leverages a wide range of resources to promote the well being of Citizen Air Commandos throughout the deployment cycle. The YRRP is a congressionally-mandated program that is intended to provide Reservists and their families a forum to gather information on the resources and benefits available to them before, during and after deployments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Gentile)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program continues to play a vital role in promoting the well-being of Reservists and their loved ones by connecting them with resources before and after deployments.

The coordinator for the program feels fortunate to be in the position in spite of the challenges from the pandemic which limited travel for eligible members before and after deployments.

“It’s my passion to help people,” said YRR representative Senior Master Anthony Chavez. “It feels good knowing people trust me enough to help them.”

As the new YRRP representative, Chavez acts as a liaison between service members, their dependents and referral agencies who may have resources available for them.

He learned how to navigate the resources available to Airmen through his time as a first sergeant, working with the Airman and Family Readiness Center, and as a former superintendent at the 556th Red Horse Squadron.

“Senior Master Sgt. Chavez is already proving to be a great addition to the resiliency pillar at Duke Field,” said Col. Scott Stewart, 919th Special Operations Mission Support Group commander. “His background and ability to get things done will ensure he’s successful in getting vital resources to our Citizen Air Commandos.”

In his role as an YRRP representative, Chavez schedules Airmen returning from deployments to go to YRRP events with family and/or friends.

During the events, representatives for such as Military Family Life Counselors, Chaplains and experts on Tricare, Montgomery G.I. Bill and a wide range of support agencies educate Airmen on resources that are available to them.

“The YRRP is very important to maintaining the resiliency of our Airmen throughout the deployment cycle,” said Stewart. “It can be hard for Airmen and their families, so we want somebody there for them that can direct them to any kind of resource the Air Force can offer.”

Chavez is there to help Citizen Air Commandos and their families throughout any point in the deployment cycle. He ensures families have access to every available resource while their Airmen are away or engages the deployed member directly to meet a wide range of needs.

“When I joined [the Air Force] as a young Airman, I had a hard time finding resources or somebody that could help me,” said Chavez. “I don’t want other Airmen to have to experiencthe same struggle I did.”

To learn more about the resiliency resources available for deploying members, check out the “Resiliency” tab on the 919 SOW app or call your YRRP rep at 850-883-6474.