Commentary

August 23, 2012

It takes a village to fight depression in our Air Force

Commentary by Maj. Rene Saenz
12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Surgeon General’s Office

We believe as Airmen that we belong to the greatest service and institution in the world. This is ingrained in us from the time we take the oath and every day thereafter, until we separate or retire. Time after time we understand and accept the challenge that there is a very small margin for error. In fact “excellence in all we do” is one of our core values. This motto helps save lives and keeps us striving to be our very best. This acknowledgement comes with acceptance, respect for the service, and dignity, yet we continue to stretch our force to its limits.

I have been in the Air Force for almost 13 years and continue to see our Airmen wearing more hats of responsibility than ever before. With the pressure to do more with less (give a 100 percent, plus some), there is no doubt that something has to give.

We often say in order to be a good “wingman” we must recognize the signs of depression in fellow Airmen that could potentially be at risk, but the fact of the matter is that we often lack the time to be the “wingman” we need to be or use to be. The “wingman” concept has been a tried and true method of helping each other since our service has been in existence. The same is true for the traditional Army “battle buddy” concept model. Maybe it is time for a different approach? Maybe we should start taking the approach of “wingmen” and “battle buddies.” This approach should start from the service members supervisor or primary rater to the Airman’s fellow co-workers. The service member should feel that he or she can trust, not only his or her fellow Airmen but trust in their leadership as well.

So I pose the question. Should we continue to depend on a singular “wingman” or “battle buddy?” Or should we all take ownership, starting with our leadership to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression by immersing ourselves with our fellow Airman and battle buddies from time to time. In this age of social networking and constantly sending messages via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc., I believe that it is time that we make a concerted effort to remove ourselves away from our desks and computers and listen to our fellow Airmen and battle buddies on a personal basis. The “human touch” or “factor” can never and should never be replaced by technology.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Maintenance versus repair … of our Airmen

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (AFNS) — This commentary is not about aircraft, vehicles, or even any mechanical components. It’s about our Airmen and how we manage their care and development throughout their careers. The maintenance versus repair concept is borrowed from the maintenance community and speaks to how maintenance managers plan, coordinate and...
 
 

Work, family balance success marker

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — “Being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” — Zig Ziglar In our careers, we frequently hear about the importance of having balance in our life...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Young)

Chaplains help build relationships

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  — Relationships come and go — personal and professional — yet some of them are too precious, or important, and are worth fighting for when the going gets rough. Many people come ...
 

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — In our increasingly secular world, there is a growing misunderstanding that it is safer to say “Happy Holidays” during the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza season, than to name the specific holiday which you or most other people celebrate. I am always drawn to explore these interesting dilemmas. I once read a...
 
 
Richardson_pict

Down and out at Dyess: Air Force Assistance Fund to the rescue

It was scary, leaving home and joining an organization such as the United States Air Force. The people, job, and location were all brand new. When I joined the military, I came from a less than honorable home life.  I come fro...
 
 

Asking for help is sign of strength not weakness

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Growing up I was a big fan of Muhammad Ali. He was the world heavyweight boxing champion and unashamedly referred to himself as “The Greatest.” I vividly remember a reporter asking Ali, “When did you know that you were ‘The Greatest?’” Before Ali could answer, the reporter offered, “Perhaps it was...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin