Resiliency events spark change in Airmen, families

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ceaira Tinsley
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
When deployed Airmen return home, life doesn't always bounce back in an instant to the way it was. Sometimes it requires a spark to be ignited before Airmen can begin to recharge and reintegrate back into their daily lives.

Not one to sit on the side lines when it comes to Moody's Airmen, the Airman & Family Readiness Center hosted a series of Recharge for Resiliency events from July through September.

The events were free of charge and were designed to assist families, couples and single Airmen in reintegrating into their day-to-day routine after a deployment or before an upcoming deployment.

"It was an opportunity for families to get out and just enjoy being with their families," said Peggy Beauvais, A&FRC chief. "Families today don't get out and do what families a long time ago did."

Amongst the activities held were paintball, zip lining, horseback riding, a pottery class, a pool party, a rope obstacle course and a planetarium field trip.

"Sometimes, for some people, it may be because of money, but people stay in the house and watch movies and kids are hooked up to electronic devices," Beauvais added. "A part of Recharge for Resiliency was to get families out and all of that other stuff was left behind. The focus was able to be on just you and your family."

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kent Umiat, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, his wife and three children, decided to take full advantage of the events as they spent last minute time together before an upcoming deployment.

"We loved every one of them [and] it brought us closer together," said Umiat. "In this day in age with deployments, work schedules and their school schedules it gives us a reason to actually be together and not have to worry about anything else.

"For my wife and me, we did it especially for the kids," Umiat added. "They get pretty emotional when I leave, knowing that I'm gone for three months plus depending on what kind of deployment it is. We try to get their minds off of everything and have fun doing it."

Umiat's wife, Kathye echoed his feelings about the importance of their family spending as much times as possible together with no distractions.

"We wanted to be able to spend quality time with each other and get our minds off of the deployment," said Kaythe. "We were able to relax and enjoy the experience as well as each other in a stress free atmosphere. It was close, convenient and free.

"It was a lot of fun. We didn't have to plan anything, go very far, and we were able to experience new things while making lasting memories."

After going through the deployment process more times than they can count, the Umiat family knows the importance of working together to maintain their resilience as a team.

"At one of our previous bases, he deployed every year for the four years we were stationed there," said Kathye. "Sometimes it's hard [to readjust] and sometimes it's not. The best way to jump back into the routine for us is taking time off and spending it together as a family without the worries of work, appointments, or other distractions."

The Recharge for Resiliency events were a way to do just that. What started off as a list of events for Airmen and their families to do quickly blossomed into something more.

"We planned it to meet a requirement and then it turned into something bigger," said Beauvais. "There was more in doing this than just offering events to families. It was like seeing the world through their eyes. To actually see the kids so excited (during the events) was precious."

Although this was Moody's first official Recharge for Resiliency, as long as the high operations tempo continues, taking care of the Air Force's most valuable asset and their family will remain a top priority.