Chaplain Williams shares thoughts on resiliency

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  • 932nd Airlift Wing Chaplains Office

Thoughts on resiliency
By Chaplain (Maj.) Mike Williams

Hello again military members and families,

The Airmen of the 932nd Airlift Wing have already been dealing with the impact of the Coronavirus for several weeks. Many of our medical personnel are working diligently on the front lines in their civilian capacities. Families are being forced to adapt to stay at home orders, interrupted school years and graduations, and the economic uncertainty that comes from widespread layoffs. Added to that is the fact that this week the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed with an employee of Scott AFB. 

Over the past few weeks I have had the chance to interact with many members of our wing by phone, email, or social media. Several individuals have expressed an overwhelming combination of fear, uncertainty, anger, and grief. This wild assortment of sensations is expected in times like this, and our feelings will often change on a minute by minute basis. The simple fact that friends and people in our communities are hurting is enough to upset our emotional status quo, even if our own families are not directly impacted.

In short, whatever you are feeling at the moment is natural. You are a human being living through a planet-wide disruptive moment. Acknowledge that there is no template for this. Allow yourself to truly experience your emotions, even if you are not yet able to fully put those emotions into words. 

While pausing to reflect might sound irrelevant to us as mission-focused Airmen, it is not. Becoming aware of what is going on inside is the first step to responding to what is going on around us. There will always be times when we are forced to dig deep and operate on our reserve tank, but that needs to be the exception, not the rule. Reconnecting to our sources of hope is necessary if we want our efforts to be sustainable. Simply put, we cannot fight the virus when we are running on empty. 

Please take the time you need to figure out what is going on inside. Then use that knowledge to figure out your next step. Be a wingman for anyone that needs help. Check in on your team and even others you haven't seen in a while. Recognize when people around you are running low. Stand in the gap for them. Provide them the space and freedom to step back for a time. Taking the time to ensure our resiliency will allow our leadership to more effectively marshal the incredible talents and dedication our wing has been given as we seek to get through this difficult time together.

If you are struggling with anxiety and need support please contact Airman and Family Support at 618-967-7344 or our new Chaplain line at 573-990-1608.