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Resiliency, Not Just A Catch Phrase
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Magen M. Reeves - October 15, 2015

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Every Airman has a story ... On Sept. 23, 2015, Malmstrom Air Force Base hosted Storytellers, an event at the Grizzly Bend. The event gave four of Malmstrom's Airmen the opportunity to share their heart felt stories. At Malmstrom, resilience isn't just another military catch phrase, it's a way of life.

Storytellers is a resiliency event to inspire and empower Airmen through the sharing of stories of individuals who have overcome life's difficulties. The storytellers often find themselves in a vulnerable position as he or she shares their thoughts and feelings about life's challenges. That openness is one of the elements that make their story effectual.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McConnell, 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron commander and his wife tell a story about a challenge in their lives for a Storytellers event Sept. 23, 2015, at the Grizzly Bend, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. McConnell and his wife have had to learn how to deal with their daughter's severe food allergy, an Air Force example of the principle adapt and overcome. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Magen M. Reeves)
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael McConnell, 341st Missile Maintenance Squadron commander and his wife tell a story about a challenge in their lives for a Storytellers event Sept. 23, 2015, at the Grizzly Bend, Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. McConnell and his wife have had to learn how to deal with their daughter's severe food allergy, an Air Force example of the principle adapt and overcome. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Magen M. Reeves)

One speaker, who struggled with anxiety after a deployment to Afghanistan, told how he had to get his family closer to him to help cope with the anxiety. He also told how some days as he sat in lectures he didn't think he would make it out. He later made the decision to see mental health.

“I found out it was some stuff that goes on that no amount of sleep or meditation will overcome, when your brain chemistry is that out of wack,” he said. “I took some [prescription] meds and here I am. My career hasn't been effected I feel good I can interact with my family, and I can stand in front of you.”

Through raw personal stories from peers these experiences can propel Airmen into a greater sense of resilience, motivation and pride. These stories could easily be written or recorded and posted on a website, but the goal is not a mindless click to a webpage, it is an emotional punch to the gut, and can be delivered in person.

“There is nothing we encounter that we can't overcome, but there are a lot of things we encounter that we cannot overcome by ourselves,” said Col. Tom Wilcox, 341st Missile Wing commander.

By U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Magen M. Reeves
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2015

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