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Yellow Ribbon shows reservist that there is still much to learn

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Terrica Y Jones
  • 916th ARW/PA
Most service members who have deployed at least once in their careers may think that they've "been there, done that." But one Airman' s recent experience showed that there is still much to learn for a successful deployment.

Staff Sgt. Bronsha Smith, Combat Arms Training and Maintenance instructor with the 931st Security Forces Squadron, McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., thought he already has a lot of experience, both in the military and in his civilian job as a law enforcement officer.

Smith was active duty in the Air Force for eight years and deployed two times before joining the Air Forces Reserve more than two years ago.

Despite all his military time and deployments, he had never experienced a Yellow Ribbon gathering until he attended one in June in Daytona, Fla. He was amazed at how much he learned at the event.

"They went into a lot of detail about different things that I hadn't been exposed to with my other two deployments," he said.

He plans to implement the information he received at the Yellow Ribbon event during the upcoming deployment to help take care of his Airmen while they are away from their families.

"The family readiness center provides different things for your spouses and for your kids. Now I have a lead on things for my Airmen if they have trouble or problems and come to me; I can help them. I know the direction to point them in while they are deployed or with their family back home," Smith said.

Smith's wife, Tanessa, attended the Yellow Ribbon even as well. She said the information presented offered good insight on many things spouses have to deal with when their loved ones are deployed.

"It was very beneficial not only with finances, but just knowing things I can do with my son and meeting other wives who are going to be at home by themselves and knowing that I can be there for someone, said Tanessa Smith.

Both Smiths agree that "daddy" being away from their son will be a challenge.

"I have a younger son who is about to turn six in the fall and he starts school, so I am still not sure if I will miss his first day of school, said Smith. "I know it is going to affect me a lot, but with Skype and other social media I can at least get a piece of it.

"My Yellow Ribbon experience has been great and very beneficial. I think the location is awesome and the atmosphere," he said.

"It's one thing to get deployed but it's another to know there are people out there that understand what you're going through."