October Chief's Concerns
By Chief Master Sgt. Mark Craps, 245th Air Traffic Control Squadron
/ Published September 26, 2014
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Everything just keeps coming at you. Get that report done, finish those EPR's, order those supplies, take the kids to soccer or dance practice, stop at the market, pick up groceries... The daily grind keeps going and going. Sometimes the stress can be overwhelming. Talk to someone. Get help. Identify someone to be your wingman. The Air Force culture is centered on the idea that a wingman will always safeguard their lead and will never let their wingman stray into danger. Most people are resilient under conditions of significant danger or distress, but when they are not; your wingman must recognize signs of physical, emotional and behavioral reactions to distress in themselves and in others. There has been far too much unnecessary loss of life over the last few years in the DOD with the increase of suicides. Someone may feel a sense of awkwardness when discussing with or suggesting to someone that he or she may need help. A good wingman should know that seeking help is a sign of strength because seeking assistance is consistent with the warrior image. Leaders, coworkers, family and friends will support your decision to seek help.
There are many places to go for help these days and we have a wealth of valuable services here at McEntire. The first is our Director of Psychological Health, Mrs. Mimi Meriwether. Her program offers solution-focused coaching in areas such as life adjustments, relationship issues and stress management. The psychological health program assists service members and families to connect with appropriate resources to navigate resiliently through various life changes.
Also available to everyone is our Chaplain Corps. They offer a variety of spiritual/religious programs, confidential personal or spiritual counseling, spiritual resilience, and retreats for singles, married couples and families. The chaplains are here to support you in any challenge or difficulty you may be facing. They can assist you in personal, spiritual, family or marital issues. Chaplains are on call 24/7 for crisis intervention and can be reached through the Command Post at 803-647-8238.
The Airman and Family Readiness Program Manager (AFRPM) is Mrs. Terry Delille. She is a focal point for information and assistance to meet the needs of service members and their families. The AFRPM is responsible for family readiness education by creating awareness of benefits and entitlements. Crisis assistance/referrals, financial assistance, employment resources, and transitional assistance are a few of the offerings of the Family Readiness Program.
One of the most difficult things that someone could do is ask for help during life's many challenges. Remember, other people have gotten through difficult times with the help of their wingman, friends, family and many other resources that are available to us. Asking for assistance is the necessary first step to becoming a more resilient Airman.