DENVER (CBS4) – Many returning soldiers deal with post traumatic stress disorder and more. They also have to learn how to fit back into society after being gone for months.
Hundreds of soldiers and their families are getting help living life after war in Denver. It’s all part of a program called the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.
“The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program was initiated in 2008 to help soldiers and their families cope with the stresses of deployment and reoccurring deployment,” program director Bryan Taylor said.
The free program was held at the Hyatt in downtown Denver. Soldiers and even their family members attended, learning valuable lessons in dealing with life’s stresses.
“Our goal is to inform the families and the soldiers of the signs so that they can be aware if there may be an issue,” Taylor said.
The Mathis family was in Denver for the second phase of a 90-day program. Roger Mathis joined the program after returning from overseas. He and his wife believe it was necessary for their relationship.
“I’ve had some issues coming back. She says I’ve had some anger issues, frustration,” Roger Mathis said.
Organizers believe the help provided has kept families together, helped soldiers find jobs, and even prevented suicide. The lessons learned are invaluable.
“I don’t know where we would have been if we had not had this,” Jean Mathis said.
“It is extremely beneficial. It’s rewarding. We have soldiers and family members that come up to personally tell you, ‘Thank you, you’ve saved my family,’ ” Taylor said.
The program meets once a month for up to 90 days. In between the meetings soldiers and their families are encouraged to put into practice what they’ve learned.