MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Everyone has a story. But not everyone decides to tell theirs.
Fortunately, five of Moody’s own chose to share their lives most defining moments as part of the Air Force’s Storyteller’s initiative.
In a series of candidly open interviews, these individuals highlighted their trials and tribulations and how they transcend the uniform – not only to empower themselves, but for others in hopes to culturally reshape how we address some of the most pressing topics.
“The goal behind (the Storyteller’s program) is to make the stories we hear about during our time in the military come to life,” said Tech. Sgt. Karmen Love-Bevard, Moody’s Storyteller’s co-chairman and the 820th Combat Operations Squadron NCO in charge of intelligence training. “We often receive training that builds on our pillars of wellness, but with this event, it gives us a first-hand look at why.”
For Love-Bevard, the program’s design to resonate close to the hearts of Airmen’s friends, co-workers and leadership is an important focal point to instill connectivity.
“It helps people see we are all human at every level, and that we all have had something that has affected us in some way,” said Love-Bevard. “Most importantly, it’s an example of resiliency and it shows that you can make it through whatever you’re dealing with and possibly be a testimony for someone else.”
Being a living testament for overcoming struggles hasn’t been easy for these Moody Airmen. Among the challenges they face are balancing a stable career and marriage, overcoming a physical ailment and near-death experience, becoming a widow and transitioning into a stay-at-home parent.
For Master Sgt. Anthony Forrester, 23d Maintenance Operations Flight first sergeant, facing his challenge has been an everyday experience that he can’t hide on or off-duty, as a result of having Vitiligo, a disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches.
“Throughout this journey, one of the most difficult and challenging things (I’ve done) is have a conversation with my (kids) about how they defend me in school,” said Forrester. “(Their classmates) say ‘hey, why does your dad look like that? He looks like a monster.’
“That’s heartfelt as a parent (to hear),” Forrester added. “What do you do (in those situations)?”
Created in 2012, Storyteller’s is an open forum-style event designed to let Airmen express their personal and professional struggles and how they attempt to triumph them.
“By hearing these courageous Airmen share their stories, hopefully it will help members realize you are not alone,” said Love-Bevard. “It’s one thing to hear it but it’s another when you actually get to see it.”
To see these Airmen share their stories in person, please visit the installation’s Heritage Hall, Dec. 8, 0900-1100.