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    148th Fighter Wing Takes Care of its Airmen

    148FW Takes Care of Their Airmen

    Photo By Master Sgt. Lynette Hoke | The 148th Fighter Wing gathered more than 500 recently deployed Airmen from around the...... read more read more



    Story by Tech. Sgt. Lynette Hoke 

    148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    Some Air National Guardsmen can be gone from their family and civilian employer for more than 180 days, and returning can lead to a lot of uncertainties and insecurities on life rolling forward. The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and the Minnesota Air National Guard create an environment, which is supported by congress, to support these Airmen, their significant others, and families.

    The 148th Fighter Wing gathered more than 500 recently deployed Airmen from around the state and their families to participate in a post deployment event at the Duluth Entertainment & Convention Center on Aug. 25th. There were enough members, and some with their significant others in tote, filled an event center with people and resources that truly cared about their reintegration to life after deployment.

    “Thank you for your support, it is you that helps your family member help us achieve excellence,” said Col. Troy Havener, vice commander of the 148th Fighter Wing. “This day isn’t about feeding you information and hoping it’s useful, it also about helping you apply it with likeminded people in your neighborhood.”

    The event included multiple breakout sessions to include things like; a representative on site to answer questions about Tricare coverage, mental health and wellbeing, financial counseling, stress management, reconnecting with family, and more.

    “It’s not about the acquisition of knowledge, but the application of it,” said Marcus Gentry, Department of Defense cadre speaker, at the post deployment event. Gentry is also known as “Dr. Respect” and is the founder of Mastermind Creation. “Hopefully participants will be able to further identify specific areas of opportunity for using goal setting to increase satisfaction and bring ore balance to your life.”

    Other renown keynote speakers included Kim Olver, a internationally known speaker who specializes in helping people get along better with important people in their lives; and Robby Wagner, a fitness professional, comedian of 15 years who combines both his passions and is now one of the most recognized corporate wellness comedians in the country.

    Multiple representatives of more than a dozen vendors were on hand to answer any questions Airmen or their families members may have during the day, a lot of it funded by the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.

    One of the many representatives on hand was Celeste Zuniga, an Educational Opportunity Center Program Director from TRIO, the opportunity to service the men and women of the unit was personal, being a granddaughter of a World War II veteran.

    “We are here to help participants to overcome barriers they have to higher education. We are available to work with them throughout their educational journey,” said Zuniga. “We are here to help, and I am proud to assist and help the members of the armed forces in my community.”

    Members of the unit were able to pick and choose breakout sessions throughout the day. Some of the sessions were conducted by members of the unit passionate about the subject; Master Sgt. Crystal Kirchner partnered with Master Sgt. Megan Shaner to conduct multiple sessions on mindfulness and intention.

    “I am so grateful and happy to be here for the people in my unit,” said Kirchner, Headquarters First Sergeant and recently commissioned for the Public Affairs Officer. “I am so happy my unit puts so much emphasis on making sure my co-workers, friends and peers who have deployed that they get access to these resources and know there are people and places that care about them.”



    Date Taken: 08.25.2018
    Date Posted: 09.14.2018 23:54
    Story ID: 292950
    Location: DULUTH, MN, US 

    Web Views: 123
    Downloads: 0