Commentary

December 20, 2013

I was determined to live

Airman 1st Class Samantha Saulsbury
460th Space Wing Public Affairs

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — I don’t mean “the parachute opened in just the knick of time as I plummeted to the Earth” kind of save.

I was failing college classes and getting into trouble. I didn’t care if my decisions lead to jail or death. I was too busy recklessly living in the moment while not giving a thought to the future. I knew I needed to make a decision.

So I raised my right hand and took that leap of faith as my parents did.

The Air Force taught me the discipline I needed to live a meaningful life again. I was finally exposed to my purpose. I was instilled with the core values and learned how to live with ambition. I began to live not only for myself, but for the men and women standing beside me. Most importantly, I was given the tools to be successful, and I learned success requires a great deal of resiliency.

Air Force bases around the world designate at least an entire day each year strictly to learn about and practice resiliency. It’s been drilled into my head since the day I stepped off the bus at basic training with the staff sergeants’ screams introducing me to military life. I’ve heard the four pillars of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness over and over.

So why do I care? And, more importantly, why would I write about something I could recite in my sleep? Because we never know how we are going to react to something until it happens. We can plan for every scenario, but until it unfolds, we have no idea how we will react. I believe it is resiliency that helped me plan for the challenges I thought I might never face.

Resiliency is the ability to return to original form after being bent, compressed or stretched to our breaking points. As Airmen, we are constantly encouraged to become stronger by creating a balance of the four pillars: mental, physical, social and spiritual. I know that I must be able to care for myself before I could care for others.

As I transitioned into adulthood, I was disappointed in the 18-year-old I saw in the mirror. Looking back, I know it could have been worse, and others may have traveled more difficult paths, but everyone handles circumstances differently, and it was enough to spiral me into a depression. I realized I needed help.

Now, I practice resiliency on a regular basis. Whether it is working out, volunteering or doing anything that simply brings me joy, I am able to create a much more stable frame of mind. When something devastating might happen to me again, I know it will take everything I can muster to get up and keep going. I know now that being resilient is my only defense against life’s guaranteed hiccups.

I write not only to be an example of the effects of resiliency, but in hopes that others can find strength within themselves as well. One of the greatest things about resiliency is that it’s never too late to build it.

I was taught how to stand up against life’s curve balls, and, for that, I credit the Air Force with saving my life.




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


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

Nellis Airman garners 2013 Sijan Award

Courtesy photograph Senior Master Sgt. David DeLoney, 820th RED HORSE readiness and emergency management superintendent, poses for a photo at an undisclosed location. DeLoney earned the 2013 U.S. Air Force Lance P. Sijan Leader...
 
 

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Why do I care? I worked for years in Florida in Child Protective Services. I obtained my Master of Social Work in 1996, and I have been a licensed clinical social worker since 2001. I saw children with marks and bruises after they had been beaten with objects. I saw...
 
 

Navy leadership visits Las Vegas Navy Reserves

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Las Vegas Navy Operational Support Center was honored to have Rear Adm. Bryan P. Cutchen, commander of the U.S. Naval Reserve Forces Command, as its special guest speaker during a recently conducted drill weekend. The distinguished guest was a beacon of inspiration for the 250 plus Navy reservists who...
 

 

Pulse on AF force management

WASHINGTON — New eligibility criteria, application deadlines and status updates are all featured in this force management update, an ongoing effort to bring Airmen the latest, most accurate information concerning the complex and dynamic force management programs. Additional TERA, VSP windows The Air Force will open two new fiscal year 2014 temporary early retirement authority...
 
 

AF opens additional TERA, VSP windows

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The Air Force will open two new fiscal year 2014 force management temporary early retirement authority application windows, and a new voluntary separation pay application window, Air Force Personnel Center officials said April 14. Commonly referred to as the 15-year retirement, TERA eligibility will be based on the updated...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy Young

Military children receive support during hardships

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy Young Tech. Sgt. Mike Hodges, 99th Medical Operations Squadron respiratory therapy technician, holds a horse while Anders Steinhiser, Lomie G. Heard Elementary School 1st grade s...
 




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