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New Hampshire National Guard’s Deployment Cycle Support Program in a good position for possible funding

(Washington, D.C.) – The office of U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today announced that an additional $16 million was approved by Congress for nation-wide National Guard Yellow Ribbon reintegration programs in the recently passed FY11 funding bill signed by the President earlier this week.

Senator Shaheen will be working to ensure that the New Hampshire National Guard’s Deployment Cycle Support Program (DCSP) is eligible to compete for that additional funding.

Without an additional source of funding, the New Hampshire DCSP could end this summer – as members of the Guard return home from the state’s largest National Guard deployment since World War II.

In March 2011, Senator Shaheen and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) sent a letter to Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, requesting that the military find a way to support and assist in funding the New Hampshire DCSP program.

The two Senators also joined seven other states in signing a March 18th letter to Army Secretary John McHugh and National Guard Bureau Chief, General Craig McKinley, requesting support for each of their respective state-led National Guard reintegration support programs, including New Hampshire’s DCSP.

The Deployment Cycle Support Program was created by the New Hampshire National Guard to go beyond the services offered currently by the national Yellow Ribbon program. The Yellow Ribbon program sponsors informational events to update returning soldiers on any support services they might need. This includes mental health services, counseling, marriage counseling, financial counseling, and veterans' benefits.

Through the DCSP, all New Hampshire National Guard members and their families are assigned a professional care coordinator who checks in on family members during and after deployment.  The program also assists returning Guard members as they transition back to civilian life.  

As Guard members nationwide continue to play an increased role in the country's military strategy, meeting their needs is now more important than ever.  DCSP is designed to prepare and support service members and their families during the full cycle of mobilization, deployment, and reintegration. 

This program has relied on congressionally directed funding over the course of the last several years. Since the program was instituted in 2007, more than 800 families and 4,000 individuals have utilized DCSP and the effort has generated meaningful results.  For example, the Guard has found that military members involved in DCSP are four times more likely to stay married, four times more likely to stay in the military, and five times less likely to be homeless.  Perhaps most notably, the program provides professional suicide prevention for returning Guard members, and 100 percent of those members considered “at-risk” of suicide are in active prevention with licensed support.