Shaping Resilient Airmen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jessica Blair
  • 8th Fighter Wing

Airmen from the 8th Fighter Wing participated in Airman’s Choice Day, a wing resiliency event, Feb. 21.

Airman’s Choice Day consisted of more than 30 events, workshops and activities which brought the Wolf Pack together with the intention to promote the empowerment of Airmen and set them up for success when overcoming personal and professional challenges.

“Resilience is like having the right equipment,” said Lt. Col. Michael Howard, 8th FW chaplain and event motivational speaker. “When my family lived in Norway, the Scandinavians had an expression: ‘There’s no bad weather, only bad equipment.’ Life is like the weather, it just throws all kinds of things at you; sunny days, rainy days, fog, sleet and hurricanes, but if you have the right equipment then you can endure.”

There was an extensive range of events for Airmen to participate in including fitness opportunities, cooking demonstrations, a civilian workforce reintegration workshop, language classes, and numerous motivational speakers to listen to.

“I think wing resiliency days are important because they give us time to really reflect on what is going on in our lives and evaluate ourselves,” said Airman First Class Kyser Clark, 8th Communications Squadron technician.

Janine Sijan-Rozina, Capt. Lance P. Sijan’s sister, also visited the base to share her inspiring and motivating message about resiliency, family and survival. Sijan-Rozina took the opportunity to speak with Airmen and share her brother’s legacy and courageous story as a Prisoner Of War, and about his extraordinary resilience which posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor.

“Lance’s lesson is an extreme example of what the spirit can do to override physical needs,” said Rozina. "His extreme and unbelievable persistence to continue to move forward despite his physical challenges is a story of true resiliency.”