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Newlyweds prepare for deployment separation
By Staff Sgt. Nestor Cruz, 944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 29, 2016
A week after they married, an Air Force Reserve couple attended a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program training weekend here due to the husband’s upcoming deployment.
Tech. Sgt. Glenn Matsuo and his wife, Rae, were married Sept. 17 in Honolulu, near where he serves as an air transportation craftsman in the 48th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. It was a small ceremony with only a handful of close family and friends in attendance.
Prior to the wedding day, the couple was already aware of Matsuo's upcoming deployment. Rae was nervous about it as she was unfamiliar with the military lifestyle. Her limited experience with it was through her older brother, who had enlisted in the Air Force when she was 7 and never returned to Hawaii.
Rae's new husband noticed her uncertainty.
"She had doubts about the deployment so I invited her to come with me to attend the Yellow Ribbon Program," Matsuo said.
The newlyweds flew to Arizona to attend a weekend training event hosted by the program, which promotes the well-being of reservists and their families by connecting them with resources before and after deployments. It began in 2008 following a congressional mandate for the Department of Defense to assist reservists and National Guard members in maintaining resiliency as they transition between their military and civilian roles.
"I wanted both of us to learn about the support programs through Yellow Ribbon," Matsuo said. "It's important for us to learn how to deal with stressors in life."
Rae saw many opportunities to gain some valuable information through the various scheduled activities.
"I was really looking forward to the breakout sessions and picking up some knowledge of what to expect during his deployment," she said.
Matsuo believes frequent communication is helpful in bridging the distance during a deployment. The couple plans to make use of email and webcams, but still write letters and send postcards to each other.
In addition to taking part in Yellow Ribbon, Matsuo introduced Rae to members of his squadron as well as representatives from his squadron's Key Spouse Program, which has special emphasis on support to families across the deployment cycle. She plans to help key spouses put together care packages while her husband is deployed.
"I'm really looking forward to getting together with (them)," Rae said. "It'll be good hearing what advice they have to offer and their stories."
Connecting with her husband's coworkers and their families helped her feel at ease with the military culture, she said.
"It was great meeting his coworkers and friends from the squadron. It is like family and they've all been so welcoming."
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