Resiliency: A Top Concern for Air Force

  • Published
  • By Colonel Jose Monteagudo
  • 944th Fighter Wing Commander
lps us overcome setbacks and even grow as we conquer challenges. Leadership across DoD have listed Resiliency as a big concern for the Air Force and DoD as the stress of being at war for over a decade has taken a deadly toll on service members and their families through alcoholism, spouse and child abuse and suicide.

Let me tell you two stories about two different Airmen. One Airman deployed a few years ago and even though they had a desk job in a relatively safe location they had a bad experience with their supervisor and others during the deployment. When this Airman returned home they felt like they were a complete failure on the deployment which led to a deep depression. At the same time, another Airman, who was stationed stateside, was dealing with the death of their parents, their last remaining relatives, when a tornado hit and destroyed their home completely. Thankfully, they weren't home at the time but they lost everything. Then to top it off a few months after their home was destroyed the Airman was diagnosed with a disease that is slowly killing them and there is no cure.

Now I know that these are two extremes, and yes they are both true stories, but the moral is how each Airman handled their situations. The Airmen who returned from a deployment feeling like a complete failure tried to take their life. Luckily for us they were unsuccessful and has since gone on to get the help they so desperately needed. On the other hand the Airman who was stateside was able to maintain their resiliency with a lot of help and support from their Wingmen.

The ranks, ages and sex don't matter; these stories could be about anyone of us. As Airmen, many of us were taught that we have to be strong and can't seek help because it couldĀ  impact our careers. This is simply not true. In fact, seeking help when you are overwhelmed or having a bad day may actually save your career and life.

Remember, we MUST take care of ourselves and our Wingmen. We need to be resilient and maintain out mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness and we need to make sure that our Wingmen are taking care of themselves as well. If you or someone you know needs help, get it. Go talk to your supervisor, First Shirt, commander, friend, family member or even talk to a professional counselor. It doesn't matter where you go to get help just make sure you get the
help you need to be resilient.