Resiliency: What does it mean to you?

  • Published
  • By By Lt. Col. Zindell Richardson
  • Commander, 45th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
Just recently, the 45th Space Wing had the opportunity to take time and enjoy Wingman Day 2011. Through the explanation of resiliency, we learned how embracing this trait can help us become role model wingmen in the 21st Century Air Force.

It is my hope that by each of us individually understanding this trademark, we can shape ourselves into well-rounded and healthy Airmen, and ultimately, benefit in each facet of the military way of life.

Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Roy shared some haunting statistics during a recent speech at the Air Force Symposium in Orlando.

According to Chief Roy, we have lost more than 100 Airmen to suicide so far this year; that¹s more than the entire total of 2010.

Also in 2010, we had nearly 7,000 alcohol-related accidents, 3,600 ground-safety incidents, and about 600 sexual assault cases.

Chief Roy also explained that "divorces are also up for the third year in a row," and "child- and partner-abuse cases [were] both up for 2009."

Compare a resilient individual to a community that has weathered a horrible storm or act of nature and has been reconstructed stronger than ever. The shared experience of our mission and the closeness of our Air Force family make us a unique community that only a few people can truly understand.

By recognizing the common physical and emotional signs and symptoms of suffering, and most importantly ­ knowing how to get help, our community undoubtedly becomes a stronger organization.

Educating people about asking for and accepting helps is important to advocate.

Individuals who have endured hardships and bounced back quickly certainly understand the old adage, "That which doesn¹t kill us only makes us stronger."

None of us are unfamiliar with the hardships of life. In fact, many of us may be coping or dealing with a traumatic or stressful event that plagues us to this very day.

No matter what, it¹s important to bounce back and continue moving forward.
In the end, this makes us stronger Airmen and reliable wingmen.

Remember, man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit!