Yellow Ribbon Room completed in time for unit deployment

| June 25, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photos by
Pfc. Robert England
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

Gina Preston, family readiness group advisor with 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, cuts the ribbon to the battalion’s Yellow Ribbon Room. Also present are her husband, Lt. Col. Andrew Preston, left, commander, 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt., and Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd BCT, 25th ID, June 15.SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Family readiness group leaders from all batteries in 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the battalion’s Yellow Ribbon Room, here, June 15. 

The room is filled with amenities providing families a way to keep in touch with their deployed Soldiers, and shows how important the families are to all Soldiers, from all units, in the brigade. 

Commanders and junior enlisted alike know that there will be difficult times during the upcoming deployment, but communicating with loved ones though the Yellow Ribbon room amenities will help keep morale high, while Soldiers accomplish their deployment missions to come home safely.

 “(The room) is about setting aside a place for families to connect with their Soldiers in a comfortable environment,” said Emily Harrison, battalion FRG support assistant for 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt.

The room is visually appealing with a welcoming atmosphere and a vibrant mural of Molly Pitcher, painted by Sgt. Ray Duffy, Headquarters Battery, 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt., depicting Pitcher assisting artillerymen on a battlefield. 

A faded blanket with the 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt. crest sewn as the centerpiece hangs by the door, proudly displaying the names of each battery in the battalion, as well as the Field Artillery motto “King of Battle!” 

The blanket’s vintage appearance suggests a unit history rich with esprit de corps. 

Crowding a shelf are photos that depict recent battalion events. 

New couches are positioned near the flat-screen TV and DVD player to give spouses a way to entertain their children. If the movies don’t suffice, there are plenty of toys to choose from, as well. 

Sgt. 1st Class Paul Dyess, the rear detachment noncommissioned officer in charge, and Spc. Brady West from Battery B, assembled a custom computer desk from scratch, where three computers with webcams and video-chat capabilities allow family members to communicate virtually face-to-face with their deployed Soldiers. 

Battery FRG advisors and battalion Soldiers supported individual projects, while Maj. Mark Sherkey, plans officer with 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt., oversaw the entire project every step of the way. 

The battalion’s supply and communications shops also assisted in providing equipment and electronic connectivity.

The Yellow Ribbon Room is open to all family, friends and supporters of the battalion. Hours of operation are still being negotiated, but the goal is to have unlimited usage so that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the amenities.

The Yellow Ribbon Room concept has been in place throughout the brigade since 2006; however, not all units had one, Harrison said. A lot of discussion went into planning where the room would be and what the finished product would look like. 

Once a plan of action was put together, the whole process only took about two months to complete.

The FRG has ideas for a second, separate room that would be ideal for meetings such as Bible studies or various support groups gatherings. 

This second room would also have an adjacent playroom to keep children entertained while spouses or other family members are busy. 

Plans for this room are on hold until after the battalion deploys.

Category: Community

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