Commentary

November 15, 2013

We all need to be resilient

Lt. Col. LES HAUCK
56th Operations Group

If you think you’ve had your fair share of resiliency training, I understand, but I urge you to continue reading and take this article as a book review. My hope is that after you’ve read my message, it will convince you to go to the base library to check out a copy of “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand.

Is there a true “perfect” holiday season? I doubt it. There are always added stressors. Last year I was in Korea without my family, and things were far from perfect. My family wasn’t happy I was gone.

I skyped with my family during the opening of presents on Christmas morning while my wife was dealing with her in-laws. However, I was very thankful for the support given to my family and me and the support shared between other Airmen who were also separated from their families. I realized that our military family has a rich history of resiliency grounded in a common understanding of our heritage.

We stand together with a shared sense of service and selflessness. Our bonds with each other and our families provide us with strength and resources far beyond what nonmilitary families may have. Simply stated, we produce resiliency to charge through adversity.

I didn’t realize there was more to the title of Hillenbrand’s book than just the word unbroken. The full title is “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.” Clearly if the word resilience is in the title, the stories from the book should relate to some sort of resiliency.

But, without giving away all that happens in it, I’ll tell you about Lt. Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who became a B-24 bombardier in the Pacific during World War II. After his B-24 broke apart in midair, he found himself floating in the Pacific Ocean fending off sharks. Soon thereafter, Zamperini became a prisoner of war and faced years of torment by his Japanese captors.

It’s not difficult to relate being a POW and needing resiliency. In one section of the book, Hillenbrand compares the dignity and resiliency that Zamperini and two other POWs maintained. Their names were Phil and Mac. As stated in the book, “Though all three men faced the same hardship, their differing perceptions of it appeared to be shaping their fates. Louie’s and Phil’s hope displaced their fear and inspired them to work toward their survival, and each success renewed their physical and emotional vigor. Mac’s resignation seemed to paralyze him, and the less he participated in the efforts to survive, the more he slipped. Though he did the least as the days passed, it was he who faded the most. Louie’s and Phil’s optimism and Mac’s hopelessness were becoming self-fulfilling.”

We all have difficulties in life, but how we perceive that adversity is the important thing. Just like Zamperini and the other POWs who reintegrated successfully after the war, we must fight through adversity and find the moral courage to know that someday, somehow, things can and will get better.

Zamperini needed considerable support. In fact, he almost didn’t make it. Like him, we shouldn’t hesitate to lean on our support networks like family, friends, co-workers, supervisors, support agencies or religious communities to get through tough times. Don’t let “The Bird” bring you down. Read the book and you’ll know what I mean.




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


 
 

 

Is being good, good enough?

In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you do it matters more...
 
 

Your career – as easy as 1, 2, 3

Oftentimes at retirements we hear the phrase, “This is one chapter in my life.” No matter what our goal is, whether it is to serve for four years or 20 years, each of us will leave the Air Force at some point. This leads to the question, “What does it take to have an Air...
 
 

This Week in History

July 20, 1969: Apollo XI On a hot July evening, my dad hauled our 12-inch portable black and white TV out onto the patio, where he grilled dinner. From that vantage point, my family watched the first manned landing on the moon and the first steps on the moon. Apollo XI launched Monday, 45 years...
 

 

Dollars and Sense

Many entry-level jobs are characterized by significantly low wages and unpredictable schedules. If you find yourself in this type of scenario, savings, second jobs, affordable loans and child care are all but impossible to arrange. Inescapable poverty changes the way we think about money and time, as short-term concerns glare so blindly that it’s almost...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Chaplain’s Thoughts

Courtesy photo John Wooden “There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience.” ~ John Wooden How do you sleep at night? Are you so troubled with life and its situations that you find it hard to sleep? One of the best pieces...
 
 
FLYOVER-Memoirs-of-a-Geisha-movie-poster

Fly Over: ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ and ‘Return of the Living Dead’

On DVD: ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ It’s not every day you find a movie that is just as good as the book it’s made. With “Memoirs of a Geisha,” fans of the original novel and first-time viewers will not be disappo...
 




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