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    102nd Intelligence Wing

    Audio | 102nd Intelligence Wing


    The official podcast of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing - Our mission is to provide worldwide precision intelligence and command and control along with trained and experienced Airmen for expeditionary combat support and homeland security


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing The Seagull - Ep 004 - October 2021

      This month we have queued up for you the monthly command message, an interview with the Rising Six Council, five questions with recruiting and retention, a recap of the 20th Anniversary 9/11 ceremony and mini documentary, and a teaser from the newest Chevrons podcast. Thank you for joining us on this episode of the 102nd Intelligence Wing's flagship podcast! The Seagull is a monthly program that is published on the second Friday of each month. Keep listening for the latest and greatest from Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing The Seagull - Ep 003 - September 2021

      On this month’s Seagull we have the monthly command message, two AFSC spotlights to learn a bit more about the finance and fusion analyst career fields, five questions with the inspector general's office, a recap on the TIME conference that many of our airmen attended, a little teaser of a mini documentary about 9/11, and the newest chevrons podcast. Thank you for joining us on this episode of the 102nd Intelligence Wing's flagship podcast! The Seagull is a monthly program that is published on the second Friday of each month. Keep listening for the latest and greatest from Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing The Seagull - Ep 002 - August 2021

      On the August 2021 edition of the Seagull we hear from Col. Timothy Gordon, 102 IW vice commander, as he talks about some of the work that has been done and that is planned to make our installation a convenient walking campus. We highlight the Geospatial Intelligence Analyst AFSC and learn about a new technology that Airmen from the 212th EIS are using to improve our communications infrastructure. We also hear from our Key Spouse program, ask our Judge Advocate five questions and learn a bit of American history in regards to one of the nation's most hallowed decorations, the Purple Heart. Thank you for joining us on this episode of the 102nd Intelligence Wing's flagship podcast! The Seagull is a monthly program that is published on the second Friday of each month. Keep listening for the latest and greatest from Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing The Seagull - Ep 001 - July 2021

      On the July 2021 edition we talk about the new format for the wing's primary podcast stream and how we're bringing back the Seagull moniker in an audio format. We also hear from Col. Stephen Dillon in the form of this month's Command Message, cover some of the recent news and events that have gone on over the past month, and learn a bit of Air Force history in regards to former Massachusetts National Guardsman, Maj. Gen. Charles Sweeney. Thank you for joining us on this new chapter of the 102 IW podcast! The Seagull is a monthly program that is published on the second Friday of each month. Keep listening for the latest and greatest from Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for June 2021 - Chief Master Sgt. John Dubuc

      Chief Master Sgt. John Dubuc, Command Chief of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, delivers the 102nd IW Command Message for June 2021. He discussed the importance of professional development, and the newly established Enlisted Force Tiger Team, which developed a framework to provide enlisted professional development to all Airmen. “I am excited about the changes that this will bring to all of us, allowing us to focus on the skills and competencies that we all need as American Airmen," says Chief Dubuc. “I ask that you all take advantage of the opportunities provided through this culture change with enlisted professional development. You are the best advocate for your career and I know that this will make you a better airman and wingman.” -----SCRIPT----- Hello Team, I am CMSgt John Dubuc, the 102d Intelligence Wing Command Chief with your Command Message for June 2021. This month I want to talk about Professional Development. What is Professional Development? What an important question to ask and I hope that I can provide some perspective for you. The American Hospitality Academy has a great definition and I want to share it with you, they state that Professional development refers to all training, certification and education that a worker needs to succeed in his or her career. I believe that it is important for you to define what professional development is for you and your career. The Air Force has done a tremendous job training all of us at basic training and tech school, providing all of the skills needed to start our careers. We are all provided opportunities to enhance these skills through Professional Military Education throughout our careers. These opportunities are so important to grow your skills and you career but it is important for you as an airmen to take advantage of these opportunities when they are offered. Professional Development can also take you to a different career path or even a different service. I began my career with the Army National Guard and did take advantage of opportunities for enlisted development when they were offered to me, knowing at the time that I would retire from the Army National Guard, boy was I wrong. I was given an opportunity to join the Air National Guard and did need to be retrained which opened up so many more opportunities for me and I know allowed me to develop the skillset that I needed to be the Command Chief of this incredible Wing. I will let you all know that your Wing Leadership understands the importance of Professional Development and how it molds our future leaders. This is my take on professional development and your Wing Leadership did identify some gaps in Enlisted Professional Development throughout the Wing. We established a Tiger Team to address these gaps and a way forward for our enlisted force. I wanted to let you all know about the great work that our Enlisted Force Tiger Team has been doing to begin our culture change regarding Enlisted Professional Development. This team has been working nights and weekends since early January developing a framework to ensure the 102d can provide deliberate focused enlisted professional development for all of our airmen. I am excited about the changes that this will bring to all of us, allowing us to focus on the skills and competencies that we all need as American Airmen. I ask that you all take advantage of the opportunities provided through this culture change with enlisted professional development, you are the best advocate for your career and I know that this will make you a better airmen and wingman. Thank you for all you do as members of the 102d Intelligence Wing, always remember that your careers belong to you!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for May 2021 - Col. Nicole Ivers

      Col. Nicole Ivers, commander of the 102nd Mission Support Group, delivers the 102nd IW Command Message for May 2021. She spoke about the hard working members in the MSG that support the 102nd Intelligence Wing’s missions throughout the Commonwealth and around the world. “We cook your meals, we guard your resources, we process your promotions and we move your cargo,” says Col. Ivers. “We work hard so you don’t have to worry about the little things. You can keep your eye on the ball – the Mission Support Group has your back.”


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for April 2021 - Col. Sean Riley

      Col. Sean Riley, commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, delivers the 102 IW Command Message for April 2021. He talked about his goal to establish the 102nd as a unit of choice, reviewed some of the steps that wing leadership has taken and discussed how far the wing has progressed, achieving a 95% retention rate, where over 90% of eligible Airmen are choosing to reenlist with the 102nd. “So while there is still work to do, we are heading in the right direction, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for all you do to make the 102nd a world-class organization,” says Col. Riley. “With everyone’s help, we are clearly on our way to establishing ourselves as a unit of choice!” -----SCRIPT----- Members of the 102d, I am excited to bring you this month’s Command Message: Spring and nicer weather are just around the corner. the wing is back on step with in-person drills, and we are fully engaged with both our federal and state mission sets When I took command of the 102d one of my lines of effort was to – establish the 102d as a unit of choice. supporting Airmen personally & developing them professionally, enhancing quality of life by maintaining a climate that fosters, accountability, inclusivity and trust So leadership across the wing helped me develop Wing-wide Goals for 2021, to get after this Line of effort. Those goals are: Maintaining a retention rate greater than 90%, Looking for opportunities to recognize deserving Airmen, Providing Timely Feedback – enlisted & officer performance reports, Reenergize the Wing Diversity Council, Promotion Board Process, Implement an Enlisted Force Development Program at the 102nd. So how are we doing so far? Thanks to all of your efforts, our current retention rate is 95% and over 90% of eligible Airmen are choosing to reenlist and stay at the 102d. Commanders at all levels were challenged to review military decorations for all assigned Airmen and we announce and track all regional and national level award programs – So far this year, Mr. Scott Etler was selected as the Inspector General Civilian of the Year for the Air National Guard and Master Sgt. Meghan Gehl was selected as the ANG, Region 1, First Sergeant of the Year. We continue to improve with the timeliness of EPRs and OPRs and our IG office just completed an internal review of Airmen Comprehensive Assessments which identified several opportunities to make sure Airmen at all levels are receiving timely and meaningful feedback Our Human Resource Advisor, SMSgt Hayner has drafted a new vision for our Diversity Council and held the first meeting in a long time during the March Drill. Chief Dubuc developed a Tiger Team that is Improving our advisory councils, now the Top 3 and Rising 6. Developing a program for deliberate, Enlisted Force Development for all Airmen across the wing So while there is still work to do, we are heading in the right direction, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for all you do to make the 102d a world-class organization. With everyone’s help, we are clearly on our way to establishing ourselves as a unit of choice!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for March 29, 2021 - Defenders Deployed to D.C.; Strengthened Resiliency

      This is Airman Francesca Skridulis with the 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs Office with the latest news from the wing. OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. - Security Forces Airmen from the 102nd Intelligence Wing deployed to Washington D.C. for over a month and a half, contributing to a mission at the Capitol building during the inauguration, and later, a civil disturbance mission at the White House. The Airmen’s resilience in the face of adverse conditions allowed them to partner with other forces to teach and learn new tactics that ultimately furthered and strengthened the knowledge and skills of our airmen, and the joint forces that keep our country safe. “They were very resilient,” said Master Sgt. Michael Anderson, the team leader for the group for both missions. “They were able to bounce back time and time again.” Eight Airmen from the 102nd Security Forces Squadron arrived in Washington on Jan. 14, just one week after the insurrection on the Capitol. They were a quick reaction force responsible for the south eastern end of the Capitol complex, working under the 1-181st Infantry Regiment, a Massachusetts Army National Guard unit. They worked taxing, 12-hour shifts where they conducted multiple threat assessments and used their knowledge of civil disturbance operations from missions in Boston to ensure that the Capitol and troops were safe and prepared in case a riot ensued. “They stuck through it,” said Anderson. “They slept in an office that was being redone because of mold, so it stunk. They were just great, and I couldn’t have done it without those guys putting in the hours and just toughening it out and embracing the suck, so to speak.” The Airmen worked closely with the Capitol police, giving classes and sharing tactics and new technology. As a result of this partnership, the Airmen were able to coordinate the ability to survey the area from the roof of the Cannon House Office Building during the inauguration, providing troops on the ground better intelligence and support. Soon after the inauguration, their mission ended and they headed home. They made it as far as Springfield, Mass. before they were called back and told they had a new mission, to protect the White House. Seven Airmen from the 102nd returned to D.C, where they were working under the 164th Transportation Battalion, another Massachusetts Army National Guard unit. Several members from the 102nd SFS had an experienced background working for local law enforcement outside of their Security Forces position within the Air National Guard, making them subject matter experts on civil disturbances. Their unique perspective and knowledge allowed them to jump head first into a joint-force environment where they trained over 300 Army soldiers on riot-control procedures. “We were able to formulate not only a PowerPoint presentation, but we ended up training almost all the Army guys there,” said Anderson. Airmen from the 102nd also got the opportunity to train and learn from the Secret Service Uniformed Division. Training with the Secret Service was a great experience and it changed some of the 102nd’s tactics and the way they’ll train going forward, Anderson said. “We definitely learned how to become organized and remain self-sufficient in a mass of people with a bunch of units from all over the country,” said Anderson. “It was good to have guys there from Massachusetts. I was really very proud of our unit when we left.” This has been a 102nd Intelligence Wing news update. For more news from the wing, visit our website at or search for 102iw on any major social media platform.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for March 22, 2021 - April is Month of the Military Child

      On this episode, Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks to recurring guest, Ms. Christi Garner about the needs of children in different age groups and some tips and resources that parents can use to ease some of their children's anxieties and help them work towards good mental health. Ms. Christi Garner is a licensed therapist and one of the 102nd ISR Group key spouses, and has worked extensively with active duty service members and families. ------SCRIPT------ Garvin: hello everyone this is Jill Garvin the director of psychological health for the 102nd Air National Guard Intelligence Wing today we are going to talk about month of the military child which is in April and we're going to do a quick podcast with miss Christi Garner she's one of our 102nd ISR key spouses she's also a licensed therapist who has worked extensively with active duty service members and families she's been on with us before and has a wealth of knowledge and we're going to talk a little bit about some parenting tips and we're going to share some resources with you that can be super super helpful and hopefully a lot of parents i know have really struggled during covid you've had to navigate a lot of change and and so have your children so welcome Christi Garner: so glad to be here Jill thank you thank you Garvin: so yeah what are some tips and some resources that you might have for us Garner: you know i've been talking a lot with people that have all ages of children and i think that there's different issues right for different levels of kids so the people that have little bitties at home there's some different issues happening right and i think it depends if those little bitties get to have pods of people they're interacting with or if they have some brothers and sisters or if it's just you and your little bitty so we'll talk a little bit about that and then of course elementary school and a little bit older kids we're seeing a lot of isolation for those kids especially the older ones not a lot of interaction not a lot of peer positives social support all of the things that those older kids used to be able to do to get that need met for connection like their developmental brain tells them they need they're not getting it so a lot of negative self-talk a lot of i would also say some suicidal ideations going up pretty high in those teens and so we're really looking at ways that you can help the older kids with some of those issues that you might not have thought of before and i think with those middle years just finding ways to engage more i know that our middle year kid at home is just constantly needing extra attention extra board games extra card games and extra things to do so figuring out where we can find some of those might be helpful what do you think about some of those tools too Garvin: yeah i love that and i like that you mentioned well just different age groups and it depends where someone is develop mentally in terms of what they can understand and what they can can grasp the other thing i was wondering about too is is yes people some children have really missed that connection and socialization piece and i know that some children have also enjoyed being able to you know do school from home and are having anxiety about returning back into the classroom and i know some have already have con have been in the classroom already but just wondering how parents can kind of help help ease some of their anxiety around returning back into the classroom too Garner: yeah i love that and i think we can start talking about that issue returning to the classroom and you're probably seeing two different ways the kids are reacting to that right i know some kids are anxious and ready to get back to school and really see it as a positive part of their life and some kids probably have the opposite reaction and hearing from a lot of people about the kids that are not so excited to go back to school right not so excited to have to interact or what i'm hearing a lot from the older kids is i don't know if my friends even like me anymore right because they haven't really been seeing them much or talking to them so i think really helping your kids talk about developmentally appropriate responses to what's happening i talked with some parents the other day and just saying hey you know what so-and-so might still like you or maybe they don't like you but maybe they're just having their own reaction to what's happening right now yeah we don't know if someone's parents are more high risk and so they've been having to stay home and stay away from everybody because their parents don't want them to interact with anyone else or maybe they live with their grandparents or something where they're not allowed to really have any social interaction until after this is over and then i think there's also been a lot of parents who have both been at work and those kids have just been at home doing their own thing and you know i see a lot of kids down here by the base going to the skate park every day after school and so i'm always like how can you help your kids if they're a little bit older to kind of socially engage again in a safe way outside of the skate park is a great place right because they can wear their masks and be socially distant but still hang out so trying to find different places where they can engage church groups i'm sure as well right some of those youth church groups Garvin: yeah and and speaking one of the resources that i was going to bring up is that both the 4-h and the boys and girls club clubs of america they offer a lot of different quality programs and free memberships to military youth as well so that's also something that that you that parents can take advantage of Garner: yeah you know i just i get on military one source a lot and i don't know if you get on that website Jill but they have the links to the boys and girls club of america mission youth outreach which is about money management and summer reading programs for kids and they also have military kids connect which is a place for kids pre-teens and teens to talk about different kinds of transitions so military kids connect might be a great place you know when we're talking about some of the anxiety that kids are having it would be similar to talking to them about pcsing even though a lot of people here don't pcs because you know we're in the we're in the in the guard the same issues about anxiety and transition come up in pcs so there's a lot of stuff about pcs thing on the military kids connect which would also be applicable to returning back to the school Garvin: yeah they have wonderful resources on there as well as well as i know during covid that children could also utilize military one source for counseling as well so that's something else to to check out and it's all free of course Garner: that's right they even have a parent coaching program on there where you can get a coach for free Garvin: yeah that's great and i think i would also encourage parents yeah to check some of these things out because you know depending on how we were raised and what our parents you know kind of taught us or how they disciplined us you know parenting is is very challenging and we learn that often from what was role modeled for us growing up and i know i've had quite a few people that have come in and again they've just been more challenged since the pandemic their own stress and then their child stress and just managing that and you're not supposed to necessarily have all the answers and and you're not necessarily supposed to be the perfect parent but you know just having the willingness to to look at some of these other tools and and other programs and coaching and all of those things you know just to give you some other tools for your toolbox is is wonderful that's one great thing about the military there's so many great resources for us Garner: yeah totally they even have a little section on apps which i have been looking at and they have apps for parents but also for kids different ages and so they have that coaching app in there and they also have like a sesame street kind of app for little kids which talks about some nervous system regulation exercises so you know deep breathing for little kids or different ways that you can help them to calm down or transition better on military one source you can find those apps as well Garvin: i love that that i always encourage parents too that when they are stressed out or if they're going through some kind of loss or big change you know it's okay to let your kids know that that you might be struggling a little bit too of course there's always an appropriate response but you know sometimes kids parents think that they have to behave or respond to things in some perfect manner and that it's not okay to to act stressed out or to get upset or to show some tears and again our kids watch us and how we respond to things and it's it's important to to let them know that you're human and and that you're stressed out sometimes as well Garner: yeah totally Garvin: just gonna share a couple other resources that i would recommend for folks to join the mailing list for the guard child and youth program in whatever area you're in in massachusetts you can actually send a request to mass m a s s n g y youth or n g youth at and they they have a social media account they do weekly emailings they will pass on discounts benefits and different services and also the military child education coalition has a wealth of information for anything education related they have they also have some wonderful free parent webinars every week in addition to other offerings for students and educators and home base which we've talked about here before which is a wonderful organization they have and a lot of our folks have utilized their their services and programs but they also have services for children that includes counseling nutrition wellness and some fun activities as well but they do offer programming in person and some virtual webinars and podcasts so there's just a ton of stuff and if you go on what's it called they have a lot of resources on there as well there's like a tool kit some different things that you can do during April for month in the military child and just a ton of resources so yeah there's a lot of different a lot of different things and i think it's the apps we've talked about that on this podcast too doing that with your child is both beneficial for you and your child again kind of calming your your nervous system and and showing your child that it's also important to take care you know of your mind and body and and breathing exercises and and how that can really be helpful and it would be a great thing to share to share with your little one Garner: absolutely i think too there's a tendency to think you have to do everything i'm remembering that just pick one thing right let's just for the month of April or the first week of April just pick one thing and maybe that's to look at one of these resources and then once you've done that just pick one of those resources and then try it out just repeat repeat repeat every day even the same thing yeah Garvin: and and on a serious note because i have had some some parents that have been very concerned about their children over this last year again some have had losses because of covid so they've lost a family member you know the loss of the socialization in the schools and things like that so and you had mentioned suicidal ideation before what if if someone is worried about their child or they have written something or they've drawn something that's concerning or they say something that is concerning or they say they want to die what are some resources and responses that we could offer parents in terms of where they can turn and where they can reach out for help Garner: well Jill you probably have some resources that are a good easy reach and when i think about responding to those i think about how busy we all are and overwhelmed we all are just in our day-to-day lives right and how do we make the time in that moment when we hear something that might be more serious how do we make the time in that moment to say hey what do you mean by that or tell me a little bit more about that what does that mean to you that you don't want to be alive anymore what does that mean for you that you wish you could die right and just starting to ask the kids about that a little bit more i was listening to someone talking the other day about some abuse they had endured and saying they kept explaining it to their parents right i don't like so-and-so and they're mean to me and i don't like it you know in years later it comes out that it was something really serious but the parent just thought that they were fighting with their cousin again you know so when someone says like i don't like this or i hate this or this person i don't like them or i'm feeling some way it's okay to just say well what do you mean by that what does that mean when you say that or tell me more about it right just taking that extra minute even if you're totally overwhelmed your kids have been fighting all day you've heard this a million times to just ask a little bit more of a clarifying question yeah and then finding the time to sit down i always tell people some kids can handle like a face-to-face interaction but some kids need to be like right next to you like maybe washing dishes or while you're driving them in the car somewhere like a side-by-side conversation can be a little bit less triggering to some kids of different ages where it's just like we're in the middle of our day maybe we're raking up leaves in the yard or you know making chopping up some vegetables together or something to say like hey i heard you say this yesterday what did you mean by that right just making it a conversation Garvin: yeah definitely exploring that because we don't always know if a child is being dramatic or or if there is really something else else going on so just taking that time out to ask them what what they mean by that and the suggestions that you had are great and then of course if you are really concerned about your child i'm a resource here for the 102nd you can always call me you can always bring your your if your child in if you wanted me to to have some eyes on but if you're ever worried about their you know their safety or if they have actually taken some kind of action you always want to take take them to the emergency room so they can be seen by a doctor and a crisis worker at the hospital and get them medically cleared and find them the the right supports but again yeah call me i'm happy to point you in the right direction and give you some additional resources if you are if you are worried about that and and never leaving if there is a serious concern never leaving your child alone until you you know connect them with someone or have them assessed by a professional Garner: yeah absolutely you know Jill i get this question a lot too it can be overwhelming to try to find a mental health professional so you can call your school counselor you can call Jill right you can call someone that you know that's a therapist you can ask me in the key spouse program and we can all help you find people because sometimes it feels a little bit like difficult like who do i find and how do i find them and how do i know if my insurance pays for it but some of us in the field can probably easily help you find someone and don't be afraid to ever ask us because i know we're kind of gatekeepers sometimes and your school counselor i'm sure also has a lot of great information for you if you connect to your to wherever your kids go to school there should be someone who has a lot of resources for you there as well Garvin: yeah good point definitely the school counselor and and even some of the members that i see here when they come in wanting to find a therapist and unfortunately tricare can be a little challenging at times to find well accurate information online who's taking tricare and how many providers take tricare but that's one thing that i can help with and like you said if we're looking for a therapist ourselves or for a child we're usually in a crisis or it's very stressful and very overwhelming especially having to make a million phone calls and something like that is very easy for me i'm happy to to find the resources for you or to reach out to that therapist first and make sure that they they do take your insurance and or what or to see what they specialize in especially if it if it has to do with your child or a specific issue that you're dealing with so those are some great suggestions thank you anything else Garner: absolutely yeah i think we can look at a couple things that are for little bitty kids but are also trauma informed and i'm trying to look at everything from a trauma-informed perspective right now because there's a heightened level of stress that we're all going through our kids included right so even with little bitty kids we want to make sure number one we be clear ahead of time so if you can explain ahead of time what's going to happen and exactly how it's going to happen then the kids will be a little bit less surprised so surprise sometimes is not exciting to kids right so if we make sure that we are going to explain what's going to happen before it happens it makes them feel more safe because it's more secure and predictable so this is great for two-year-olds all the way up to teenagers so prep them plan in advance reveal the plan explain the details and then you can also put your child in charge of something like we're going to leave at 8 o'clock so we can get to school at 8 15 we're going to get in the car after we eat breakfast and brush our teeth now i want to make sure that you have your backpack with your snacks in it right kind of giving everybody a job so prepping is always my number one tip plan in advance reveal the plan explain the details and put them in charge and then i think also especially for little kids but also for big kids that right now haven't had a lot of choices it's good to give choices right age-appropriate choices for little kids it's time for bed do you want your monkey or your bear right for older kids it's time for us to do it's time to calm down before bed do you want to read a book or do you want to listen to this meditation with me right like giving them choices about what they want to do it takes a little pre-planning for us adults but it's totally possible and it makes things a whole lot easier so that's my first and second tip today Garvin: good i love that prepping and choices Garner: yes Garvin: okay anything else that you were going to mention Garner: i think also knowing that us adults have to put on our oxygen mask first which i know we talked about still and uh the calmer you are the calmer your whole family will be so make sure you get in that time to prioritize the things that you need Garvin: yeah the more you take care of yourself the more you're able to take care of others and that's i know that's it's really easy for me to to give that advice sometimes to parents who have crazy busy schedules and and kids and activities and you know it's it's yeah easy to say like oh go and get your nails done or go for a walk and like when do i have time for anything like that so just like your suggestion earlier about pick one thing you know if it's you can definitely carve out even if it's 15 minutes or 10 minutes doing something for yourself and then that could be breathing exercises that could be listening to some good music or or going on a walk on your own but you know just trying to make that a priority for yourself is so crucial Garner: absolutely i agree Garvin: so thank you those are some great tips and great resources if anyone wants some of the names that we mentioned again some of the websites resources and emails please reach out to me or email me and you can also reach me on my cell phone which is 508-237-6652 if you would like any of this information and we will see you next time thank you for being with us today


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for March 15, 2021 - Move your grief

      On this episode Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks with Ms. Sue Andersen about suicide loss and resources for grief management. Ms. Sue Andersen is the board president of the Samaritans and a certified yoga teacher. She hosts classes and workshops helping those who’ve experienced loss to 'Move Your Grief'. ------SCRIPT------ Jill: hello everybody this is Jill Garvin I am the director of psychological health for the 102nd intelligence swing today for our wellness podcast I have a guest and her name is Sue Anderson I know Sue from the samaritan she's the board president of the samaritans she's it's a local support organization they have a crisis line we've talked about it on this podcast before they have several support services groups around suicide loss. Sue is also a yoga teacher and coach working with people who have experienced loss and that are grieving she offers a lot of yoga classes and workshops and we'll talk a little bit about how she got into that and at the end of the podcast we will give some information around some of the workshops and classes she has to offer and for the 102nd as well. Sue is also a suicide loss survivor who lost her son Ian and so i've asked her to share a little bit of her story and things that might have helped her along her grieving journey and again it's always important for us to have this conversation here at the 102nd as we try to reduce stigma and encourage people to seek help as quickly as possible. so welcome Sue thank you for being here today with me. Sue: thank you so much Jill Jill: yeah if you don't mind love to hear a little bit about about your son Ian how old was he when he died Sue: he was 25 and this was nine years ago this april and it was a shock you know he did have some some issues mental health issues very stressed but you know we never expected that he would die by suicide and at the time uh he was living in Rhode Island and we were here on the cape so you know there was a lot of it was it was an interesting time I would say because people down here on the cape where we were living didn't know him and so but everybody that we knew in Rhode Island you know where where we had lived previously of course knew him but I found probably a month after he died a resource that was an online forum called the alliance of hope for suicide loss survivors and one of the first recommendations that I got from somebody there was a breathing exercise and it was about you know inhale to a count of four exhale to account an inhale to a count of three exhale to a count of four and the idea was to you know just first of all that keeps your mind busy when you're saying when you're counting right but also just keep that regular breath because you get breathless you know in grief and stress and anxiety and I found that just so so helpful and then after that I began taking a yoga class locally and I had done yoga previously actually encouraged by my son but mostly that was from an exercise standpoint and now I was um going to the classes really for more about the breathing and the meditation so it was that's that was how I kind of got into it and that as I mentioned the the breathing was one of the first things that I found incredibly helpful at the beginning of the of my grief journey Jill: I think almost every the last few podcasts we've had we've actually talked about breathing techniques and the benefits to our nervous system and stress and anxiety so yeah another great example of how it could help you through such a traumatic time Sue: right right and it's I guess you don't really think about because we don't think about breathing because that's what we do but you notice when you're when you start these other breathing techniques how you know you're you really open up your chest opens up for example you know your lungs open up a lot more and one of the things that I noticed about me was I would describe to people probably the first year or year and a half maybe longer that I had a cloud stuck in my chest that's what it felt like you know and so the breathing you I could feel every time you know a little bit of an opening a little bit of an opening you know so that was you know it was really profound and really helpful for me Jill: yeah it sounds like it thank you for sharing that yeah I i am curious I don't know it's it's a difficult subject but just what were some of your reactions and how did you deal with them in addition to the breathing and the reason I ask is you know a lot of people think that you know grief is very linear and we go through these certain stages and that's not true you know it's messy it's different for everyone and so I try as much as I can here to sort of normalize whatever your reaction is is normal given to the abnormal event or whatever the sudden loss that happened Sue: yeah absolutely I mean I am i'm an outgoing person so I like connection with other people but for me initially I did not want to go to any kind of groups it just wasn't something that was it didn't feel right you know it didn't settle right with me right away and so I just did one-on-one counseling which was which was very helpful to me and I did a lot of reading you know of just all kinds of different books about grief Jill: yeah I was going to ask ask you about that as well because I like to give people recommendations of books that might be helpful are there any that stand out to you that are helpful with grief Sue: with the the one and i'm i'm going to forget the name of it but there is a book that I got right away before I tell you the name of it I just want to say that one of the things that happens to it happened to me and I think happens to a lot of people that are grieving is that you can't concentrate so getting a book sometimes you can't read it or you're not absorbing it your mind's not there right there is a book that is by I believe her name is Martha Whitmore Hickman and it's a men it's meditations it's a very small book you know footprint is it's a very small size but it's short little meditations that you daily absorb exactly daily meditations I think it's actually called daily meditations for grief and that's one of the first books and that is a book that I give to people that I know that have of are grieving because I feel like that's something that you can you can retain you can absorb that information Sue: other books that I read um that were helpful one is by um Annie Lamont andi it's help pray some I can't remember the last word but it's three words in the title um and then there were just other you know grieving loss of a child there's another book that I really like I believe it's out of print it's called seven choices and that book I found extremely helpful you know later on in in my grief probably the second second year or third year Jill: yeah Sue: was extremely helpful so I think for me it was a it was a mix depending on what the you know what felt right I did eventually go to grief groups I got involved in some suicide loss day kinds of events and activities survivor's day activities I did walks and you know gradually I had to find different ways to work things out you know one of the things that was also helpful to me was to was rituals so for example you know my son was engaged at the time so I had all of these ideas of life events you know that I would be participating in with him or you know that weren't gonna happen so I actually did a little ritual to to let go of those things where I you know went to the ocean wrote things on paper and threw it in there so those kinds of things you know were very helpful I think you have to find what works you know to get the the most important thing is to get is to move the grief out and and that's going to be journaling helps you know I do a lot of writing and then a lot of moving you know Jill: I liked what you said around moving you know and it never of course goes away and you never get over it but the importance of moving through it and working through it and learning how to deal with it and that's how a lot of people will develop post-traumatic stress disorder because often some of us want to avoid those feelings and and we do things to distract like drinking or spending or or doing other things that don't allow us to to move through those really uncomfortable feelings and eventually yeah that can really turn into something you know complicated grief and much more and much more serious so it sounds like you found what worked for you and helped you move and things that brought you comfort and a little bit of not resolve but you know just allowed you to to sit with the grief a little bit more Sue: yeah and you know I think I heard this description of grief being like a river where sometimes things are free-flowing and sometimes there's the log in the middle that that dams everything up and you've got to figure out a way to get rid of that log so you can be you know you can be fine for an hour or a day or whatever you can you know laugh and then you why am I laughing you know so there's there are a lot of things that you experience but I think it's important at least for me it was important to find ways to release the grief out of me whether that was talking or writing or physical movement or breath work and then sharing with other people I think is is really really helpful you know not to be afraid to do that Jill: I was going to ask you that about connection and the importance of that and if you met other mothers and other parents that had lost children and that had lost children to suicide so that's a very powerful support to help you in your grief it sounds like Sue: yes absolutely and my actually two of my college friends both lost children one as a young boy and the other one her son was 18. so they were there for me as support but I also found just um you know people that were uh just in just grieving in general or or had lost someone but maybe they were further along in their grief that were you know very comforting it just it's it's nice to make that connection because then you feel like you can talk to somebody I think no matter who you've lost in your life it's nice to be able to connect with somebody that has a similar experience sometimes you don't want to or either you don't want to talk about for example I might not want to talk about my son with people that maybe are you know like they're they don't want they're nervous about hearing about my son even if I want to talk about something that was fun you know or funny about them whereas other people might be more open because they've experienced something it doesn't frighten them so it's scary you know to people that haven't experienced grief to you know or something like a loss of a child to be talking to somebody who experienced that so they get nervous about it you have to I don't know kind of give people a little bit of a break Jill: yeah i've talked to a lot of different grievers that you know will share something like that and they know who's uncomfortable with it you know they'll be at the grocery store and see a neighbor somebody they've known forever and they just turn and go the other way because they don't know how to bring it up and maybe it's going to make you feel worse maybe it's going to make it worse you know so people don't say anything and they avoid it it's always one of the things i've done here too is try to offer suggestions for people on what to say to others that are grieving and even what not to say we have here at the 102nd a lot of our members have worked here for a very long time and they've known each other for many years and and their families and so there's naturally been been a lot of loss as well and so yeah I try to just give people a little bit of information on here's what you can say and here's what isn't so helpful to say was there anything that somebody said to you or that you could suggest it is not helpful to say especially like I know how you feel that's a big one Sue: well and this wasn't appropriate for me because ian was my only child but I remember one of my college roommates um she had cancer she died young we were in our 20s and I remember her mom telling me that people were saying to her well you have two other children and you know the mother was it was like what you know so right people try to mean well but they don't you know they don't sometimes really realize what they're saying um I think just you know asking how are you today Jill: yeah Sue: you know not not the general like oh how are you but like how are you doing today gives you know the person the opportunity to say oh i'm you know today's a good day Jill: right Sue: or today is a bad day you know something like that the other thing that's um I think is nice to do is you know and this is of course depending on how well you know somebody but you know is to talk about something that happened that was you know funny so the person that um that you're grieving the person that left you know oh my gosh remember this funny thing that happened or give you the opportunity to talk about that because i'm talking about something that funny that happened with you know with my you know best friend or my son or whatever somebody who's passed away and and then you you know you would be able to say something too so just having that opportunity to talk about the person I think is important but not talk about don't feel like you have to talk about the sadness Jill: right the death you can talk about their life yeah Sue: yeah and and again sometimes that's hard you have to kind of gauge what you know what's happening Jill: what would you say is i'm sure there are many things but what do you miss most about about Ian and what do you remember the most Sue: well his laugh you know he was he was a little bit of a jokester you know so that's that I remember very very demonstrative you know in love hug you know a person that liked to hug so I definitely missed that he had uh a lot of friends and but you know that i'm still friends with a lot of these friends which is really nice you know there's they're still in my life Jill: helped you stay connected Sue: yeah it helped me stay connected and I think was was good or is good for both of us you know certainly was good early on but yeah so that's that's what I you know miss and remember you know certainly Jill: yeah and I liked what you said about being able to share joyful memories and and more about their life not necessarily their death and other people sharing that with you because they knew him and that's a connection to Ian Sue: right Jill: so when somebody shares with you a funny story that is very nice for you and comforting for you Sue: right yeah exactly exactly sometimes I think it's harder for people that you know when you're in a community i'll speak in terms of losing a child when you're in a community that everybody knows you and knew your child then sometimes they don't know it's it's more it's an a more awkward situation they really don't know what to say because for me because my son no was in a different state people didn't know him because we moved here you know after he was a teenager you know it was in a sense a little bit easier because I didn't have people that didn't want to talk to me in the grocery store because they all they only knew me you know and and they knew me just from the neighborhood or you know a gym class or something like that you know they didn't really know me as the family that grew up in the kids in school and all of that kind of history so I think sometimes that's a little bit harder for people and it doesn't matter whether it's a child or a husband or a sister you know wife whatever I think sometimes it that is a little bit more difficult it just that i've heard from other people Jill: thank you for sharing that yeah that's helpful so it sounds like you started utilizing breathing techniques and you got into yoga and and learning how to be in your your body and and how and that really helped your grief tremendously and the other thing I want to talk about is I know that now you help a lot of others Sue: yes Jill: by offering what helped you to the community so can you tell us a little bit about your workshops and classes and how you kind of started doing that Sue: yeah sure so I practiced yoga for probably five years before I took my teacher training and over that time over the teacher training and as I began to teach different classes I found that I was drawn to classes that were maybe a little bit more gentle that were slower that allowed the participant the student to really just relax and you know have that opportunity to meditate and just you know kind of get into their own head you know and and have that find that time because we don't really get a lot of that time for stillness and silence and and that I saw was very beneficial to a lot of people as I got involved with the samaritans which was four years ago in april Sue: I also got involved in some other organizations that another organization here on the cape called sharing kindness and that kind began to shape a little bit more of these special classes that I was doing or workshops that were associated with or i'm sorry working with people that are grieving and combining the breath work gentle movements and restorative yoga to help people have that opportunity to um you know get um get some of that energy negative energy out with movement and then that relaxing uh piece of it and restorative so so that really over the last couple of years is where is where that's come in and i've taken a couple of additional trainings in that area to you know figure out what are the best poses to use and things like that so I have um on my website now i've got a page that's specific to grief and loss and it has resources there there's also another resource page that I have that has additional videos of classes recorded classes Jill: what is your website Sue: it's Sue Anderson which is a-n-d-e-r-s-e-n-yoga dot com so there are resources there and there's also weekly classes that I teach so I i teach two classes on zoom only those are wednesday night and friday morning and then I teach a class through a studio in sandwich that's on zoom or in person Jill:and any workshops Sue: I have a workshop that is going to be coming up the end of April the beginning of May and i'm still finalizing the date it'll be a two hour workshop called moving your grief and it will include breath work meditation journaling and that will be hopefully in hyannis i'm still getting the space signed on and open on also on zoom so it'll be in person and on zoom Jill:great and so are do these cost or are they free Sue: so the classes are between 10 and and 20 depending on the length of the class and the workshop does have a cost but that will also have some availability for free Jill: if somebody can't afford it Sue: if somebody can't afford it Yeah you know so we're working on that as well Jill: okay thank you I look forward to I know I want to do the workshop and your restorative class this friday and you also offered when we were talking earlier about doing something online for us here some kind of class Sue: absolutely yeah so if there is you know if there are a few people if there's a group if you want to do something once a month you know it's it's easy to set up something online you know that can be done really quickly it's just a you know figure out the time and you don't have to worry about location yeah i'm happy to do to offer offer class 30 minutes 60 minutes whatever okay sounds good Jill: good definitely we'll get some feedback from folks here I really appreciate your time and and I wanted to mention the samaritans again that they have a lot of different support groups and resources if you are a survivor of suicide yourself or if you've lost a loved one to a suicide they have some different things that they do and um and again that the crisis line is available and that's all on the cape is there anything else that I left out or forgot about that you would want to mention before we close up Sue: no I don't think so I i think we've covered uh a lot of territory yeah Jill: well I really appreciate you sharing your story with us and and telling us a little bit about Ian I think it helps a lot of people to share your experience strength and hope and and thank you for being here Sue Sue: you're so welcome thank you for inviting me Jill: Thank you. Bye.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for March 10, 2021 - Heroes In Transition- Communication, Connection, and Community

      On this episode Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks to Ms. Kristen Alexander about the importance of communication, connection and community when it comes to relationships. Ms. Kristen Alexander is a Heroes In Transition spouses group coordinator. Heroes In Transition provides many family, couples and veterans programs to our community. ------SCRIPT------ Jill: hello everybody this is Jill Garvin the director of psychological health for the 102nd Intelligence Wing welcome back to our wellness podcast today I have Kristen Alexander here with us she is from heroes and transition a lot of you have probably heard about them one of my favorite organizations and favorite people they assist veterans and military families and do a lot for our community and for a lot of our members here at the 102nd actually Kristen and her husband John they are both couples group facilitators and Kristin is the spouse's group facilitator and John is the veterans facilitator co-facilitator am I saying that the right facilitators right Kristen: yeah coordinators facilities that's what I have to say it's all good Jill: yeah so coordinators I apologize so one of the reasons I wanted to talk to Kristen about some of the programs and offerings that that heroes in transition has is because a lot of people i'm finding especially since Covid have really been struggling in relationships marriages that have broken apart or relationships that are really really struggling and a lot of people are struggling right now and I have definitely had an uptick in in my office and my arena around people struggling with that and heroes in transition certainly has stepped up during Covid and and is offering a lot of different things to meet the needs of our veterans and their families and since Kristen is involved in the the program for for couples and and in relationships I wanted her to tell us about what they're doing and introduce yourself and tell us how did you get involved with heroes in transition you and your husband you know give us a little a little background Kristen: awesome thanks Jill so my name is Kristen Alexander as Jill said and we are going into our fifth year with heroes it is my husband had started with them in a conversation of facilitating a veterans group and carrying that on and I was kind of like yeah well there’s spouses two so because my husband's a veteran so we've been through the deployments and you know all the things and so that really sparked an awesome conversation about starting with couples first and building the trust there and then breaking off and doing kind of separate groups so we started from the grassroots up and we started with the couples group we created a couples group and it just has continued to grow and grow and grow now that we have now we have to do lotteries for our events Jill: Wow Kristen: yeah so it's been amazing and it's been amazing to see the growth not only just within the organization in the group but the growth and the friendships that have come together because of that space Jill: i've heard some amazing feedback from our members that have gone on some of the couples events and retreats and it sounds like it is really well planned and just very therapeutic and amazing Kristen: yeah it's really great coming from because i'm not a therapist you know I don't i'm a spouse you know I am half of the married couple so that's the role that we take with it is you know creating the relatedness of another angle you know and what that does is that opens up the door for more conversation for maybe more needs that whether it be the veteran or the couple or the spouse might need they tend to be a little bit more open to maybe furthering on with other areas but you know reading just some of the things that you know we get feedback on and with covet it's been tough because a big part of what we do is we would do we do monthly we do bi-monthly events so what we do is we do like last month February was a couple's group event and we did a virtual valentine's dinner that was amazing and then this month we'll do the veterans will do an event and the spouses will do events separate and then the month after april we'll go back to a couple so we kind of alternate so it kind of it builds up the individuality because to be able to be strong as a couple you have to have your you have to know who you are right like so you still have to have that sense of self and independence Jill: yeah Kristen: because sometimes that goes away as a military spouse right but thank goodness for zoom we've been able to go virtual and it was like hey we don't have to give up everything but it has been a big part of like I said what we do is we would do an event to kind of get people together socializing that kind of thing and then we would do dinner and not being able to do the dinner was a fear that we would lose that connection because when you're sitting down having dinner and that's where the connections are coming in the smaller conversations and you know that kind of thing and but we've been able to through being virtual we've been able to still somewhat keep that connection and we've actually had a lot of new people join us which has been great because a lot of people don't feel comfortable coming into a group Jill: right Kristen: so the virtual aspect has been a blessing there's a blessing in everything as we know has been a blessing to allow people that maybe would feel a little bit intimidated or uncomfortable to be around people physically at first Jill: yeah Kristen: to kind of come in this way you know and like one of the things was feedback we got was it's such a pleasure knowing that in difficult times we can still grow and adapt to continue to get to get out there and build your support group you know so just knowing that providing that space for them you know and don't think we're not getting anything from it Jill: of course yeah Kristen: you know it's just it's it's pretty amazing Jill: so so how did you and john so you're doing this as a as a couple right obviously and what what kind since you're a spouse as well what sorts of things have helped you along your journey in marriage as a military spouse what what things have helped the two of you stay married Kristen: yeah so there's that yeah communication for sure and a lot of what takes a long time is to really learn how to listen and listen in a way that you're you get the intention of the conversation right so it's like kind of building those skills you know and it lit I remember when we went to therapy back in the day you know and just one of the exercises that we had to do was sit back to back and take take 10 minutes talking taking turns because then you're not interrupting Jill: yeah Kristen: he couldn't see my face because he doesn't because I was a crier I might still be but you know doing things like that you know so like some of one of the exercises that we did during one of our retreats was it was called the recreation exercise so one partner would say something and then would express whatever they were gonna express and then the other partner would come back and say okay so I heard this is what I heard and would say it back and then they would have a conversation did they really hear what that person was saying Jill: yeah Kristen: you know so it's really and it's just practice and when times get crazy we all fall out of it a little bit so those these reminders of the things that we do and we continue to really put in how important communication is is a good reminder for everyone that you just can't be successful without communication Jill: yeah communication is so key Kristen: yeah Jill: and i'm glad you mentioned well just an idea of one of the things that you do on the at the retreat yeah tell us a little bit what are the events like what do you do Kristen: yeah so we have twice a year so we do that every other month so that every month there is a an event for a veteran spouse Jill: and what type of events the this month Kristen: for the spouses I am running a i'm leading a vision board workshop so we all and we're gonna focus on hope like what can we bring you know what can we create and really just kind of getting down I have a whole worksheet there's a process it's not just cutting out pictures and pasting them they're gonna we're gonna do some digging you know in creating and with that the veterans this month are doing they're doing yoga and meditation which is awesome Jill: with Sarah right Kristen: yeah yep saturday we love Sarah yeah and also too I know they're still doing they do some work with Marie Bartram also and I know that they're still doing some like weekly virtual events too just to kind of keep people connected which is super important every saturday I do a spouse's coffee chat virtual which has really been a huge part of staying connected you know about Jill: I love that kind of thing what time is that Kristen: 9 a.m on saturdays and we do have a facebook group for couples and we also have email lists that I can give you you know when we before we wrap up how people can get connected to that kind of stuff but what we do I want to a couple of our biggest things is twice a year we do a couples retreat so we you know and they both have a little bit of a different focus one of the couple's retreats is really about building the community in teamwork you know also working on communication skills with each other but like building community and just really getting that you're not by yourself in this you're you've got people you know and then the other one is really digging deeper into your relationship in really just looking at how you can work on those communication skills different things different exercises that you can do how to communicate in a way that is effective because there's all different levels of communication Jill: It is a skill Kristen: as we know and to be able to communicate effectively is a huge skill you know and you know unfortunately we're not born with it we have to create it and but we also have to be committed to it Jill: yeah Kristen: you know and really just being able to get on each to get on each other's level really just listen to the other person you know one of the things that we learned was doing a daily temperature reading and what that is is you just there's like five different topics and you take turns and there's no discussion about it you're literally just filling in this is what's happening this is what's new blah blah blah you know whatever that kind of thing Jill: nice Kristen: yeah it's really cool Jill: well I was going to say you mentioned uh community connection communication and committed and just that just paints such a wonderful picture on yeah how we have successful relationships whether they're friendships or romantic relationships in our marriages but especially that connection piece and I love that you guys are keeping folks connected Kristen: yeah thank you it's you know and really just looking at again some of the things that they give us back you know the feedback like what stands out is reconnect relearning love languages you know that kind of stuff really just having one-on-one time to themselves instead of always being a parent oracle or a worker or you know something like that and what happens is a lot of times they don't especially with our military families and couples they don't have family here you know so they don't really get a lot of that one-on-one time you know so now when events come up they're a little bit more apt to look you know might look for a babysitter and make that extra effort to get that one-on-one time and then when they experience that one-on-one time they're like oh that's who you are oh I forgot Jill: yeah you're an adult too Kristen: yeah right you know so it's really it's really been so amazing Jill: yeah you guys do so much and again I know we're all appreciative of especially during Covid just stepping up and and having all of this and and because most everything is free right Kristen: everything is everything is free Jill: which is amazing yep yep and and I love yeah there are a lot of uh silver linings that came from Covid especially zoom and like you said there are a lot of veterans or service members those that suffer with anxiety or ptsd and they don't necessarily want to go into a crowded room with other people and so having the option to to see people on a screen and you're in your own safe comfortable environment is is wonderful yeah something wonderful Kristen: it kind of fills that gap a little bit yeah and for our valentine's dinner we had you know we had everybody got to pick up their dinner they got a choice of their meal they went and picked it up at marshland 2 and we met on zoom at 7 pm and there were a lot of people that didn't know each other because we've been in this for a year so we haven't really been able to you know do a lot of the connecting but by the time that dinner lasted like three hours and we were like wow like we laughed and people just got to really know each other and people were sharing and it was just you know it was just really great for them to have that like ah yeah with my people Jill: a breather yeah and and and there's such power and just being around other people that you can identify with and understand military life culture marriage all of those things do you guys have something coming up Kristen: we have well in March 20th we have the spouses the spouses event and that's going to be a vision board workshop and then the veterans are doing they're doing yoga and meditation I think that might be March 13th might be the week before I think maybe and then there's also we have a families group too and Casey and Aaron and Vanheusen run that and that's amazing so we do and those are monthly events and you know we couldn't do it without the hard work of our donors and sponsors who are like Jill: yeah I know and that's because they see all the great work you're doing they love you guys it's just amazing to see the outpouring of support and love that heroes in transition gets from the community Kristen: it's been amazing and we do have it's the full moon yeah that's why i'm but we we do have the Ruck4HIT coming up which is like one of our aside from the gala well both of those are our biggest fundraisers and the Ruck4HIT like everybody can take part you can run walk you can do whatever and that is going to be based right out of Mashpee and that is the end of April April 30th to Jill: yeah so that every you guys will be meeting at the heritage park Kristen: yep that's going to be our home base and we have teams and we've been doing that I mean we've been doing that I think this is our fifth or sixth year doing that the first one we did the beta run to new york city and back and that was pretty amazing Jill: everybody knows about the rock Kristen: I mean I think so but it's so great and that's when and we also what happens with the ruck is we have a lot of the people that participate in our groups they that's where they come to give back so they volunteer and they kind of you know help the whole thing happen but again we couldn't do it without the people that sponsor us and you know our donors our board of directors are amazing they just have so much trust in us which is amazing yeah Jill: yeah well you do amazing things and you have amazing results you've helped a lot of people like I said there's so many 102nd members here that have given me feedback over the years about oh just all the different ways that heroes in transition has helped them and and we've been able to call on you guys when we've needed something or needed a resource for someone it's just great to be able to pick up the phone and and get you guys anytime so thank you so is there anything else you'd like to mention that that's coming up or how do people find you Kristen: people we have we do have a website at and an easy way to remember how to get connected to the groups it would be if you were looking to get information about the spouses group you would email if you wanted to get information about the veterans group veterans at harrows in transition and couples couples at heroes families families at heroes so we try to keep it simple you know that kind of thing I know the couples group we have a private facebook group that is specifically for military couples the families group has a facebook group for that but definitely go and you know like heroes in transition on facebook and you'll see all the connections there Jill: you're on instagram too right Kristen: I think so I i should be better at instagram and just Jill: some people are more instagram Kristen: it's yeah yeah yeah but I think we have an amazing social media guy Chris he's just awesome and yeah he he gets all of our stuff everywhere yeah it needs to go Jill: and the emails you mentioned if they go on the website all of those Kristen: they'll be able to find you know find that too you know and then they'll also be able to see you know we're pretty good about you know responding quickly and you know like the spouse's group events are for spouses of military members you know the veterans events or for that you know that kind of thing so yeah so Jill: wonderful Kristen: so that's it like just come see us no matter what rain shine we make it happen Jill: especially with zoom it doesn't matter what the weather is Kristen: yeah in person not in person Jill: you know and I love the the that you guys are doing rock the way you're doing it I i don't think I could have ever participated before but i'm planning on doing it this year yeah I have been running but but just again the way that uh some of the different options I think will make it more available Kristen: yeah it's we had people from other countries participate last year we had so that's the thing with Covid too like it's kind of you have to be creative right Jill: yeah Kristen: and you have to open up we had families participate together you know and they would send in their miles you know and then we'd add them up on on our team or whatever yeah yeah definitely a way whether you want to come and walk and you know the registration form is out I believe which is cool so anybody can register can register individually or as a team and then or you know come down and help us out you know just be a smiling face and cheer us on because we'll be tired Jill: well thank you and please thank uh Cindy and Nicole for all and your wonderful board I appreciate everything that you guys do for the community and I appreciate you coming on today and we'll definitely have you guys back because you're always doing new and innovative and ongoing things and I want to remind people that you guys are here so thank you Kristen: anytime thank you


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for March 2021 - Col. Robert Driscoll

      Col. Robert Driscoll, commander of the 102nd Medical Group, delivers the 102IW Command Message for March 2021. He spoke about some of the missions that the Massachusetts Air National Guard has contributed to this past year, and reviewed the latest safety protocols, including mask guidance from the Department of the Air Force. “I have been inspired by your selfless dedication to the mission whether it was at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, the Covid testing mission, caring for our most vulnerable citizens in the state’s long term care facilities or currently with the vaccine mission – I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart,” says Col. Driscoll. -----SCRIPT----- Hello – My name is Colonel Bob Driscoll – Commander of the 102 Medical Group and I have the honor and privilege to work with some of most inspiring Airman in the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Medical professionals who truly emulate the Air Force Core Values specifically Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do. This includes the 102 Intelligence Wing members who (although they do not have a medical AFSC but possessed a medical certification) stepped forward over the past year to assist in the state response to the Covid pandemic. I have been inspired by your selfless dedication to the mission whether it was at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, the Covid testing mission, caring for our most vulnerable citizens in the state’s long term care facilities or currently with the vaccine mission – I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. As we slowly and carefully return to the Wing for the March RSD I would like to take this opportunity to review the safety protocols with you to include the Department of the Air Force Guidance on the use of Masks: All individuals on the property of the 102nd Intelligence Wing will wear a mask, including those who have been vaccinated. The only exceptions for mask wear are to accommodate a religious belief; if you have underlying health conditions WITH medical documentation; if you are outdoors and proper physical distancing can be maintained; if you are actively participating in physical fitness activities indoors or outdoors and physical distancing is maintained; if you are alone in a vehicle or in a vehicle with a member of your household; when it interferes with proper wear of PPE for mission duties; when personnel are in aircrew positions during critical phases or flight emergencies; or when clear or unrestricted visualization of verbal communication are essential for effective operations. All masks should be functional, clean, and cover the month and nose at all times. Other safety protocols include social distancing (6 feet apart), hand washing, as well as temperature checks when coming into a building. Also if you have a fever or the chills; have a cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; feeling fatigued; have muscle or body aches, a headache; have loss of taste or smell; have a sore throat, congestion or runny nose or are experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea - Please stay home, call your medical provider and notify your supervisor. The Medical Group is advocating and working very hard on your behalf to obtain and provide the Covid vaccine for you. I ask that each member of the Wing do their homework on the vaccine and review the literature so when the vaccine is available to you - you can make an educated decision and not one based on misinformation or rumors. I am happy to say I have been vaccinated to help protect myself, my family and my coworkers at the Medical Group. If you have any questions regarding the vaccine contact your medical provider for guidance. I hear Covid coming up everywhere as the reason for inactivity. We cannot let Covid paralyze us. In closing I want to remind everyone that We are the United States Air Force - We are Guardsman - Together we will get through this pandemic. Thank you!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for Nov. 23, 2021 - Technology and Wellness with Samantha Sandland

      Ms. Jill Garvin, the psychological health director at the 102nd Intelligence Wing, speaks to Samantha Sandland, LICSW, NASM-CPT about tools available such as mobile apps, aroma therapy and others that can contribute to wellness. Samantha is an independent clinical social worker and a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. Samantha owns and operates Champs Psychological Services, LLC, a Rhode Island-based agency which provides mental health, personal training services, and performance coaching, in both individual and group settings. ------SCRIPT--------- GARVIN: hello everybody this is Jill Garvin the director of psychological health for the 102nd intelligence wing today i am joined by Sam Sandland she's been with us before she's a licensed clinical social social worker and personal trainer and i'll have her um say a little bit more in a few moments but today we want to talk a little bit about some apps that are really helpful we're going to talk about essential oils music even color and just how different things impact our nervous system and different things work for different people so we're going to touch on that and welcome back sam i'm glad that you're here and tell us a little bit more about what you do again how you introduced yourself before SANDLAND: sure yeah i'm glad to be back and i'm glad we're on zoom and i can see you yeah it's super exciting um so like jill said i'm a licensed clinical social worker and personal trainer so i own a business out of rhode island called champ psychological services and my whole mission is really to bring attention to the intersection between physical health and emotional wellness i think that really encapsulates who i am GARVIN: perfect and we talked talked before about the brain and that was really interesting and we'll talk a little bit about that so maybe we'll start out with some apps that we have both found helpful maybe for ourselves or for other people that we work with um what app would you like to bring up first i'll let you go SANDLAND: so i will bring up um you know a Fitbit an apple watch so if you have one of those components one thing that i really like to do is to monitor my heart rate and so if you have an apple watch or even a Fitbit there's um apps on it that i can trigger you to take some deep breaths and also you can look and see what your heart rate is because sometimes for me i look and i'm like whoa i'm really stressed out i need to provide myself x y and z and then i look and i see oh it went down a little bit um so that's the first one that i really think is cool because we we have so much on our phone already um so yeah GARVIN: i love that idea um because i know sometimes with my watch when i'm sitting for too long it'll remind me to get up and walk around yeah but i love the idea of of having a reminder to take a couple deep breaths that's wonderful SANDLAND: yeah and even to learn to see what your resting heart rate is because everyone's body's built different so even just looking and being like okay my resting heart rate is this over this is is the more knowledge the better in my opinion GARVIN: yeah absolutely and if we do have a high heart rate then there might be some other things or other apps that we can use to help calm our heart rate and our nervous system we both like insight timer and that is an app that you can put on your phone i use that it's got hundreds of different teachers everything from you know meditation anxiety sleep uh different subjects i really like that one i think you use that too SANDLAND: yes yeah and i like because sometimes people can find the word meditation really scary and intimidating and so it's really important to note that even on insight timer there's short components you don't have to commit yourself to a 15 minute GARVIN: there’s like three minutes really quick and music music i i will listen to some of the sleep type music when i go to bed at night and i also when i started practicing meditation i used insight timer because there's a little bell on there and you can time so i started with two minutes then three minutes and worked myself up to 20. so that's a helpful little tool too it has like a little absolutely tight sounding bell so definitely check that out the other one that i want to mention i mention this all the time is COVID coach and a lot of people i think have downloaded this on their phones it's a DOD product and it has just about everything in it it's not just COVID related it's broken up into four sections and i'm just going to quickly go over one and one section has managed stress the other is learn the other is mood check and the other one has resources so it has everything from virtual museum tours to strengthening your relationship and the one i'm going to highlight today is manager stress and i'm just going to quickly go through what what they have listed and you can also save them under your favorites and it also gives you challenges so under managing stress it has ambient sounds body scan change your perspective so some um cognitive behavioral type stuff and connect with others daily rituals deep breathing finding meaning meaning grounding and indoor activities inspiring quotes mindfulness muscle relaxation observing thoughts relationship tools okay wow there's a whole bunch more i'm not even gonna go but anyway that just gives you an idea of what is just in that one section of managing your stress so if you want to try to do some deep breathing or grounding exercises and grounding exercises for those of you that don't know what that is that is something for example when you are meditating making sure that both of your feet are on the floor and really bringing in all your senses what you're hearing smelling feeling the type of temperature that is is on your body and it just can help us uh get back into the moment and and ground ourselves is there anything you wanted to you want to say about that SANDLAND: yeah i i i also want to honor the fact that you know some people who are in the military might be um overwhelmed by the idea of meditation and so one thing that's really great about grounding exercises is that you already do them right so you do them in your job you do them in your role um so for example when i speak to some of my clients i actually have them do a grounding exercise when they're stretching or when they're getting ready to weight lift because there's grounding is just a way to connect to who you are um and so your craft and figure out what works for you um just like jill said it's all the senses so for example if i had a client who i was really working on grounding exercises because of relationship stress i would have him or her focus on when they are getting ready to exercise so okay you're warming up you're you're aware of your muscles what does it feel like what part of your body so i just want people to hear that even if you don't have an app or you are overwhelmed by the concept of meditation you already are successful in grounding because you're here yep that's right so i just wanted to bring that point up GARVIN: yeah and even something as simple as just taking one deep breath right and be very very grounding right any other apps that you can think of right now i know we were just going to probably mention those few SANDLAND: um i i love um the note section so if we think of community um if we're yeah it's like on uh on the iPhone there's a note notes app and you can connect to somebody else so let's say you and your buddy um are really going to work on some particular part of your emotional wellness um you can share a notes app and connect to another person and so then you can kind of track any area of growth even if it's an exercise area um so i i thought of that earlier jill but i just think the idea that when we're suffering we're not suffering alone um and just bringing connection wherever you can GARVIN: absolutely i haven't heard of that i will actually check that out and again that is something that we talk a lot about is is connecting i love the idea of accountability having kind of an accountability partner i just recently started doing some zoom calls with a couple of friends each week and we both we all make kind of a commitment on the things that we want to work on for the week um and so it just reminds me a little bit of that where you have a little bit of accountability and some connection so thank you that's that's a great suggestion and the other thing i wanted to talk about um are essential oils and i know a lot of people when they hear aromatherapy might think that it's sort of a pseudoscience or something kind of out there but there actually is a lot of evidence-based evidence-based research around what what aromatherapy and essential oils can do and you know it stimulates the smell receptors and the nose and our strongest sense is smell and i'm sure all of us can relate to you've been walking or you walk in somewhere and you smell a certain scent and it reminds you of someone or something or your grandmother or something from childhood so i actually looked up on John Hopkins because they're actually using essential oils and and many hospitals they are too i've seen a couple documentaries but um but aromatherapy you know is does have a therapeutic benefit i actually started using them in my office this last year i have a diffuser and i've been trying them myself just to see yeah just to give it a try you know i'm always open to anything and um but when you inhale aroma when you hail these essential oils the scent molecules travel from like your olfactory nerves directly to the brain and um impacts you know the amygdala and the emotional center of the brain so i made tim smell a few that i keep in my office he was just thrilled to death i can't tell you how excited he was but one i've been using in the morning is called cheer and it's got is that the one you like it is um yeah so the cheer and some of the morning ones i use are citrusy and have some different blends so i every week i'm taking one oil and trying to learn a little bit about it and then the other one i love is a roll-on is called adaptive and um it's a very sort of i think a grounding smell and then the other one i brought is called anchor and it's really interesting that the citrus oils when you pour them in a diffuser they pour out very fast and then the grounding ones are a lot slower so it you know it's a whole process but i can definitely tell a difference with my mood and and before i meet with folks in my office i will um use the adaptive um it kind of helps ground me and and so i can be mindful with folks so it's something that uh that i've definitely um wanted to try to see if there was any um i don't know any any benefit to it so i have noticed for myself and they're using it for different types of diseases and it's supposed to help again depending on the kind that you use everything from anti-inflammatory anxiety depression and insomnia and appetite and many other things so yeah if you know somebody that is into the oils you can certainly look up and do your own research but but do try a couple you know in the morning um you know there are things that can brighten your mood and there are some calming ones too so i've really enjoyed that SANDLAND: yeah sure and i um interestingly enough just started my essential oils again a few days ago um i was cleaning out my closet that i have in my bathroom and i was like oh i forgot about all these and um i was using vetiver yeah yeah um and one thing that i found interesting is that so we have a we have a bunch of different um oh my gosh my mind's going blank um so we have smell touch sound what are other sensations that we have uh site yeah taste taste yep and then we have another one that's actually called proprioceptive which is how our body relates to the world so it's what holds us to be balanced um and so what's interesting for me around essential oils that i noticed last night actually is it hit my smell grounding nervous system but really it also helped my sight so i am really stimulated by what's going on in my environment um and so seeing the the smoke or steam come out of the diffuser was super regulating to me um and i love the ones that have the different colors those are really oh yeah yeah yep yeah so i hear you there and even like even if you just try it in a store if you're in a store they have samples so you can just like walk up to it um twist it and smell it um and kind of see what it does for you it's not going to cure things but we're just trying to provide you some more tools in your toolbox um because i never tried aromatherapy until someone suggested it GARVIN: yeah so either or actually when i've gone to some yoga classes or i've gotten a massage they often will use oils and i immediately feel relaxed or or grounded so i i knew that something felt something felt good about it but um i've been doing a little bit more around that so good for you thank you and we were also well speaking of you you were talking about sight when you see the diffuser uh we were talking a little bit about um colors you know from what you paint on your on your walls to colors that you might wear that you find that that are that may be relaxing to even light bulbs now tim and i were talking a lot about the these um smart apps is that what you would call it smart apps that have um you know google and and i guess amazon you can have different shades of color in your house and use those to also impact your nervous system for a calming effect or maybe to help you wake up in the morning i don't have anything like that but i'm certainly drawn to different colors so i love the idea of of using colors in your environment as well for for kind of a nervous system reset or soothing technique yeah SANDLAND: yeah it's a good point and and one thing that's interesting is i really have never thought of light i have you know a few clients who use light therapy for mood but for me personally i've never assessed what happens when lights are dimmer and not dimmer so it's something i'm gonna i'm gonna GARVIN: exactly check it out i yeah and lived in Germany for a couple of years and i bought my first light therapy lamp when i was over there because i moved over there in October and it was just gray and rainy you know seasonal affective disorder definitely hit me and so i would do like 10 minutes of that light in the morning it's supposed to help with vitamin d which helps with mood as well but yeah definitely play around with again like if you walk into to get a massage or a yoga studio and it's nice and dim or there might be candles or certain colors you notice a change in your body and how you respond to that so i think the last thing we were going to talk about is music like how music can also soothe or excite the nervous system can help us be more productive it can help us sleep at night i for one love my Spotify i know that um apple Tunes has uh there's different um products out there like pandora and stuff like that but i love making playlists for when i'm doing something creative or if i'm running you know i have a certain playlist if i do i have found when i put on classical music or certain types of piano music i just instantly calm down it's very soothing uh so yeah do you use any any music? SANDLAND: yeah yeah and i have um a i really like classical music but i'm very particular about the song so on my playlist i only have six songs and so when i am unable to focus i play the six songs um and that's my commitment that i'm gonna finish those six songs um because often times when we're distracted and overwhelmed we have to complete a task but then we see 73 other tasks and now we're even more overwhelmed um so yeah i love classical music i also honor the fact that sometimes i need to listen to some rap right like i'm just feeling it like i just need it and it's gonna soothe me in the moment because i'm you know feeling a certain way yeah energize you yes yeah GARVIN: yeah yeah the type of music i listen to when i'm cleaning the house or running is very different than when i'm doing something relaxing or trying to break down at night and um you know my niece recently she's 12 years old she's been listening to waterfalls at night so you can also listen to different ambient sounds of the ocean of the rain of waterfalls um Spotify all those have those options too what is the thing it's called it's around i'm not going to pronounce it correctly hurts you can listen to sounds like what you're saying 350 hertz or 450 hertz and yeah i didn't know that much about it and i read this book by a neurosurgeon who actually uses certain types of frequencies and i'm sure our intel folks and what i'm trying to say uh but you listen to certain types of frequency that can help with well sleep and relaxation and other states and there's been a lot of research around that so Spotify youtube yeah youtube has a ton of um playlists too for sleep and different sounds and the different hertz sure and yeah so hertz is a bi um how do you say that thank you BINAURAL BEAT and is one method used by sound therapy it uses low frequencies that fall in the alpha theta gamma delta range so it corresponds to the brain wave frequencies that also vibrate in the lower lane just try it you know it i i've tried it it's a different um sound but again all of these things that activate our senses in different ways can do so much for us SANDLAND: for sure and everyone's body is so different and everyone's so what i needed five years ago with my nervous system is very different than what i need now so what's important to acknowledge is that we're all trying to figure out ways um to be more present in our lives um and that the whole goal is to explore so i do this for a living never really thought of colors and like light therapy sure i can acknowledge the dimming and the you know the lights at a doctor's office makes me feel very different but um we're all exploring we're all trying to figure it out so we challenge you just to lean in and explore GARVIN: yes i love that and again all of these different things that we've mentioned some of them may sound kind of out there for you but i don't remember who had this saying it might have been a philosopher but contempt prior to investigation so before you sort of have a a negative outlook or or judge something try it investigate be curious see if it might work for you try these things with with your kids especially during COVID. kids have been having a lot of anxiety there's been a lot of research around using oils and essential therapy for children as well and calming them down so yeah do do your own research and see what works for you SANDLAND: yeah and i will also say that peppermint oil helps with muscle aches so yeah just throwing it out there GARVIN: yeah i know a lot of massage therapists will use that for sore muscles so that was it we were just going to kind of do a quick like you said giving people some is there anything i left out or anything SANDLAND: yeah just just one little piece that jill and i discussed is the importance of shutting off technology so technology is a really useful tool and so one thing i challenge each one of my clients and and i do myself is even if it's on the weekend physically shut your phone off um even if it's just for 10 minutes um because we are connected to the world and information and when you shut it off even if it's for a short period of time you're resetting your phone right you're rebooting your phone you're also rebooting some of the your neurons um to really just separate so i think that was it jill because we wanted to honor the importance of technology and also the GARVIN: importance of turning it off that all right because it's true we're constantly wired whether it's social media or listening to something or reading our books on our phones i mean just everything but it is important to i have a hard time with that self-discipline sometimes and i will tell myself okay you know you get five more minutes on the phone then you're turning it off you know whatever i'm doing so so sam thank you for being here again thank you we'll meet again and have some other other topics as well to offer people some some useful tangible um suggestions and i really appreciate you being here and if anybody needs to contact you what is your contact number SANDLAND: um my my my best way to contact me is if you go to my website champ psychological services dot com um and just um do go to contact contact me um and then just put your name in and then i'll get the message GARVIN:okay great just if anybody had any questions yeah thank you again and i've enjoyed our podcast together yes have a great day okay bye


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for Feb. 26, 2021 - Going from stress to rest

      On this episode Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks to Ms. Christi Garner about the importance of recognizing that nervous system wellness is just as important as physical wellness, as they discuss different ways to take your body from a stress response into a rest response. Ms. Christi Garner, is a licensed therapist and one of the 102nd ISR Group key spouses, and has worked extensively with active duty service members and families. ------SCRIPT------ Garvin:hello everybody this is Jill Garvin the director of psychological health for the 102nd intelligence wing it's nice to be with you today i have a special guest her name is miss Christi Garner and she is one of the 102nd isr group key spouses and a licensed therapist who has worked extensively with active duty service members and families most recently she was an embedded therapist with the squadron flying and maintaining Marine One and then a security forces squadron at a po1 installation which is one of the highest protection level for air force assets and she is also the spouse of one of our wonderful commanders here Col. Dovalo so i appreciate you being here and you are going to talk about how to go from stress to rest and so i'm going to let you explain what that means exactly and why it's important and we'll have a discussion around it Garner: awesome thanks Jill i'm excited to be here so going from stress to rest we are going to look at today some tactics techniques and procedures of how to take your body from a stress response into more of a rest response and it seems like these days right now especially with the stress of what's happening in the world around us as well as some of the isolation and being stuck at home and having our kids with us a lot of the time and a lot of our activities that we go to for rest and relaxation we don't have access to right now Garvin:absolutely Garner:so learning some different ways to put your body into a rest state has been one of the top topics that i've been talking to clients and even my friends about this list Garvin:good well i could use it too and i definitely have noticed just with a lot of the folks that come into my office it is a really stressful time for everybody it has been so i love that you're going to give us some ideas on on how to rest our nervous system Garner:yeah awesome so the number one thing that i always tell people and has really been an issue in our house is sleep routines so falling asleep first of all right like making that nighttime routine of course staying off electronics if you can for an hour before you go to bed but i know that sometimes a lot of my service members including my husband have a hard time falling asleep so progressive muscle relaxation or you can also youtube something called yoga nidra but it's a way to relax your body kind of from head to toe so that you can fall asleep with more ease Garvin:i love yoga nidra i listen to that too we mentioned this on another podcast insight timer and uh for folks that don't know what that is you're not actually doing yoga but as you're resting and your eyes are closed you're just uh focusing kind of like a muscle a progressive muscle relaxation but you're focusing on different parts of your body and it is so calming i love it Garner:so calming and it helps i swear everyone that i tell it to it has dramatically increased their ability to fall asleep faster and rest deeper and the other thing that we've really been doing at my house is looking at our devices like our apple watches or fitbits and analyzing our sleep patterns and what we noticed is you know you can really track things such as staying up later drinking alcohol exercising or shift change times you can really see how those affect your sleep and your rest abilities Garvin:because it tells you if you're getting really restful replenished sleep Garner:that's right sleep yep and it tells you when how much of the time you're deep sleeping like i am a super light sleeper so i get about sometimes only 30 minutes to an hour of deep sleep a night where my husband gets about eight hours of deep sleep so when i wake up tired every day i was like wow what is what is going on with me like am i not eating right am i not exercising right but when i started really tracking my sleep patterns it really helped me to understand where i needed to put more time and effort and for me that was a routine Garvin:coming up with strategies to help you get a deeper sleep Garner:yeah totally so that was my number one tip for everybody is getting a fitbit or apple watch or using something to track your sleep and then doing some kind of routine right before bed like yoga nidra or progressive muscle relaxation and the second one and i'm pretty sure we've talked about this before Jill but breathing we all know how to breathe but we have to sometimes reteach ourselves how to breathe so that the breath is working for us and not against us Garvin:i like that and that's one thing that i tell just about everybody that comes into my office too it's something that i practice i remember when that was first suggested to me i didn't really understand how breathing was gonna help but now it's a habit so i notice when i'm not deep breathing or i'm shallow if i'm having some anxiety i know that i'm not really breathing very well so there's a lot of science behind that and i really encourage people to to check that out for themselves Garner:yeah absolutely Garvin:what kind of breathing techniques do you use Garner:so i my two go-to are the foursquare breathing which i think comes from a special forces training anyway where they teach you to breathe in for four hold for four breathe out for four and hold for four so that kind of four square breathing i notice all of my frontline responders and people that are interacting in stressful situations that's a super easy one to remember that will help you to kind of get back into that more rest and parasympathetic system instead of that fight flight anxious sympathetic place so four square breathing and the other one that i use is four seven eight so like you said getting that deeper breath sometimes we want to focus more on the out breath and the in-breath if we're feeling we're having a lot of anxiety or tension or stress so that's breathing in for four holding for seven and then breathing out for eight so that one will work any time even for kids especially when you notice yourself getting a little bit more anxious or tense Garvin:that's a great idea to remind people that they can do with this with their children as well i remember seeing my niece i think they did something in school but she would hold up her hands and then count like you know one two three four with her digits her fingers to keep track so that would be something that parents could do with their children for calming breathing exercises Garner:absolutely it's a great one and the kids one of the best things i always tell people is you can get your kids to teach you how to do it then they feel like they have some control and they're showing you something new but that's always a good one like mom's feeling upset can you show me how to do that calming breath again that we practiced right so kind of making it a game Garvin:great idea thanks thank you Garner:so breathing it always is always a good one um you know and the other thing that i think we're all dealing with is some zoom fatigue right Garvin:yes Garner:so a lot of the way that our nervous system responds to the way we're all interacting these days we have our cameras really close up to our face which is not something we are normally seeing people so close up and so intensely focused on people the way that we have been this last year over the zoom so a little tip that will help you move from this more like extreme focused sometimes tense place of being on a zoom call all day is to focus like on your screen where you're watching the zoom and then let yourself focus six feet away for just like 10 seconds and then bring your focus back to the screen for a few seconds and then focus back out to the wall behind you or maybe out a window so that kind of movement of the eyes really helps the system to engage Garvin:yeah that's a great idea that's kind of like some of the bilateral you know there's tapping and left and right side of the brain and it sounds like that's kind of what you're talking about just how it can soothe our nervous system and calm things down too Garner:yeah so some simple stuff that you can do at any moment on any zoom call you you you can do this and no one's going to Garvin:really good for your eyes too right just to give them a little rest as well away from the screen Garner:totally and i don't know if you wear the blue light blockers but we've been wearing those glasses at our house and i think you can find them on the internet amazon for like 15 bucks or something Garvin:yeah i just got some reading ones in addition to these so i'm just trying them out now can you tell the difference Garner:yeah definitely you know i spend sometimes 10 to 12 hours a day on zoom meetings and on the computer and for a while i was getting really bad headaches by the end of thursday or friday so i noticed if i use my blue light blockers as much as possible and the other thing that Col. Dovalo does is he turns his night vision on his computer 24 7. so instead of having it bright during the day it's on that night vision which takes away some of the blue light so those are the two tips that we've been working with to help with the technology fatigue that's been happening so focusing on your finger and then focusing away so i have some more technology tips you can download on my website and we can link that up for any of you folks that want to get some more of those Garvin:okay what is that and there's some downloads for yoga nidra meditations and technology fatigue as well Garvin:great well and again you know just the importance of recognizing that our nervous system really needs attention and and maintenance to perform our best so just like we train our train our bodies to be fit we can also train train our brains for mental health fitness and and i think just being aware of our nervous system and how that's impacted and you know there's stress hormones like cortisol and and things like that that can really be pretty shocking to our nervous system and i remember i had a job working in crisis services and it was a very probably the most stressful job i've ever had but i had a co-worker that was hired and after about two weeks she said yeah this is too it's not good for my nervous system it's too jarring and she quit and i was like wow what a way to take care of yourself you know just recognizing that something is a little too much you know but just again having that awareness on on on how things impact your nervous system is great Garner:yeah and i think like you said if we we exercise to keep our bodies healthy and this is one way to do that as well practicing some of these exercises looking at your sleep making space to rest and take care of yourself is like exercising your mind body right that connection that we need because people that have a higher level of stress and tension tend to develop long-term health problems right higher levels of heart attacks Garvin:Ulcers Garner:yep tons and tons of research around this yeah so the more you can bring your system back into that rest state actually the more you're taking care of yourself in the long term to make sure your body is functioning at a more efficient and more restful way which is really important because right now even though times might be stressful is we can rest in our bodies and kind of provide that level of comfort for ourselves then we can do that more easily in our families right and with our partners and then that seeps out to our teams and our communities and our larger family systems which we could all use a little bit more compassion care and rest Garvin:oh definitely well it's like the the saying it's important to put on you know the oxygen mass on yourself first you know if you're taking care of yourself first your your mental health your physical health then we're able to take care of others better and we're in a better better position to do that so yeah any other any other tips that you want to give us Garner:i think just as we move towards spring which we're all feeling it i hope remembering to get outside in nature and even gardening or spending some time walking amongst the trees or on the canal path or wherever you're at is super helpful so that's one i'm looking forward to Garvin:me too everybody is daylight savings time is coming up not too not too far away and for those people i know some people that struggle with depression or seasonal affective disorder because we don't always get a lot of sunlight here really have a hard time motivating themselves to get out or to get some sunlight so sometimes i'll suggest you can just go around the block once you know and then maybe the next week you can go around twice if it feels too overwhelming to get back into some kind of fitness routine just to start really small and set yourself up for success Garner:absolutely i love that tip yeah Garvin:first things first you know you don't have to and progress not perfection i love that saying too you don't have to be perfect at anything just try Garner:keep it simple yep Garvin:yeah anything else yep that's it thank you and then i want to remind everybody of Christi's website and i think you said there's some free things you can download to help with that stress to rest practice and yeah and i encourage folks to to think about what sounds right for you or to try some of these things and see what a good fit is so thank you so much for being here and hope to have you back it's just nice to have short simple tangible topics each time for people to use especially right now during this pandemic so thank you Garner:thanks for having me Jill


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Feb 23, 2021 - 102nd Force Support becomes a squadron and gets a new commander

      OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. – A formal unit re-designation and change of command ceremony for the 102nd Force Support Flight was held here, Feb. 12. Presiding over both ceremonies was Col. Timothy Gordon, 102nd Mission Support Group commander. “The re-designation of the force support flight to the force support squadron has been a long road and a lot of work,” said Col. Gordon, “It’s about growing the professionalism of the Airmen and expanding and improving services to the wing.” The 102nd Force Support Squadron is responsible for providing first-class combat and community support by delivering programs supporting Airmen and family care, military and civilian personnel services, education and training, food service, lodging and fitness for the Airmen of the 102nd Intelligence Wing and their families. Maj. Bethany Hien will become the commander of the newly-elevated squadron, succeeding Lt. Col. Kristen Moulis, who has served as commander since Sept. 2016.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Feb 12, 2021 - Massachusetts military forces join together to administer vaccine

      Massachusetts Air National Guard Airmen of the 102nd Medical Group, supplemented by Massachusetts Army National Guard Soldiers and members of the Massachusetts Organized Militia (MAOM), came together to perform a first-run of the COVID-19 immunization process at Otis Air National Guard Base, on Jan. 28. The initial doses of the vaccine were administered to wing leadership – the first of two, which will protect Airmen from the COVID-19 virus. The vaccine will be delivered in a phased approach – priority will begin with emergency services personnel, security forces, and medical and health care professionals. Continuing, groups will be prioritized based on exposure risk and health factors. “We are very fortunate to be able to start the process to vaccinate personnel assigned to JBCC,” said Col. Sean Riley, 102nd Intelligence Wing commander. “This is truly a joint effort, the vaccination team includes both Army and Air Guardsmen and even some retired members of the guard that volunteered to come back on State Active Duty.” The vaccine will initially be offered under an Emergency Use Authorization, and vaccinations will be voluntary until achieving full FDA approval. Initial quantities of the vaccine are limited and will be distributed as additional supply becomes available. The vaccination plan is focused on personnel providing direct medical care, emergency services and public safety. This is followed by those providing essential installation functions and deploying forces who volunteer for inoculation according to the DoD’s phased prioritization approach. Personnel currently receiving the vaccine are first responders such as healthcare workers, security forces, and other personnel with the highest risk for exposure. The vaccine will also be offered to personnel who will be deploying in the near future. As each phase of the vaccination plan is complete, the plan will expand. In addition to the Airmen and Soldiers from the Massachusetts National Guard, Chief Warrant Officer 5 James Girard and Master Sgt. Frank Noonan of the Massachusetts Organized Militia were on hand, assisting with the immunization process. The MAOM assists the United States National Guard forces, assumes state missions when the National Guard is deployed, provides emergency support during disasters and assists in color guards and funeral details. “We are men and women who have retired and spent at least 20 years in the military, of which the last 5 years had to be in the Mass. National Guard,” said Chief Girard. With uniforms virtually identical to their National Guard comrades, these retired Soldiers were identified by the distinctive ‘Massachusetts’ tape where ‘U. S. Army’ would normally be seen as well as a round shoulder patch depicting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. “When the [pandemic] first hit, we were asked to come back,” said Chief Girard. “We come in when asked and it’s purely voluntary,” The dedication and professionalism shown by these militia members is evidence of their years of service and experience – the militia allows them an opportunity to continue that service. The participation from all parts of the Massachusetts military machine make one point abundantly clear – the importance of this mission to vaccinate the troops is paramount. Ensuring our service members are protected will guarantee continued support of operations such as Task Force Raptor, where more than 180 Soldiers and Airmen who possessed civilian medical training were called up to serve and join the commonwealth’s fight against COVID-19 early last year. Millions have received COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. These vaccines have undergone the most intensive monitoring in U.S. history to make sure that the vaccines are safe. “These vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards,” said Chief Master Sgt. Cynthia Thomas, 102 MDG superintendent. “There were no serious safety concerns.” While some people don’t have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, many will have mild side effects after COVID-19 vaccination, like pain or swelling at the injection site, a headache, chills, or fever. These reactions are normal and show the vaccine is working. “For me getting the vaccine as soon as I could was an easy decision,” said Col. Riley, “The more vaccines we are able to administer will keep our people protected, increasing our readiness and ensure we can support any state or federal mission taskings we receive.” Wing personnel should expect to receive notifications from their chain of command as more shipments of the vaccine are received based on their priority in the phased vaccination plan. Although immunizations are underway, it is important that everyone continues to wear masks, maintain personal hygiene and practice social distancing. According to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID precautions will still be necessary until a large portion of the population is vaccinated and the vaccine is proven to provide long-term protection. The combination of COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others offers the best protection from COVID-19.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Warrior Airman Podcast for Feb. 8, 2021 - Resilience: A Human Journey

      On this episode of the 102 IW Warrior Airman Podcast, Tech. Sgt. Mandy Givens, Master Resiliency Trainer, speaks to Chief Master Sgt. Sean Sullivan and Tech. Sgt. Gary Roberts about their philosophy and personal journeys in the realm of resilience and their thoughts on the culture of resiliency within the wing. -----------------script---------------- GIVENS: hello and welcome to the Warrior Airman podcast a podcast that enriches the unity of the community within the 102nd Intelligence Wing this is the place where airmen can foster relationships built on our unique experiences i am your host Technical Sergeant Mandy Givens and today we have the pleasure of having both Chief Master Sergeant Sean Sullivan and Technical Sergeant Gary Roberts before we begin i want to congratulate our listeners for persevering through this past year's adversities I’m hopeful you are in the same mindset as i am that you feel more empowered to triumph over past present and future adversity this year and the years to come with that said again we have chief sullivan and sergeant Roberts here to discuss resiliency within our wing and within our lives before we begin chief and sergeant Roberts will you please give our listeners a brief intro of who you are and your interest in resiliency SULLIVAN: thank you I’m Chief Master Sergeant Sean Sullivan i am currently the wing first sergeant and first and foremost i am an airman uh when it comes to uh who you are and what you do uh i believe that the most important thing that you can do for your own warrior ethos and your own resiliency is to is to uh annotate who and what you are is as far as what's most important to you and the most important aspect of what i do is the fact that i am an airman and i am fully behind any type of resiliency program that we can do because when i look at resiliency and how it impacted my life it had a lot to do with the social pillar and that sense of belongingness so anytime i felt fractured or any time that I’ve felt like my resiliency was slipping I’ve always been able to rely on that one component of good airmanship and that's wingmanship and that social pillar and to find strength and who and what i do and what i believe and what my ethos is so that's kind of why i always consider myself an airman first and foremost uh currently I’m serving as the wing first sergeant so i get to work directly for the commander and try to get around and impact uh positively as many airmen as i as i can my interest in resiliency started probably when i was a kid i was a youth growing up in Columbus Ohio kind of a city kid we had a lot of issues going on and when you look at the four pillars of resiliency and for our audience uh listening um there are four or more depending on uh on which uh reason you know which AFIs that you're looking at et cetera but uh of the four pillars you have your uh your physical pillar your nutrition and your fitness and you have your social pillar and you have your spiritual pillar and you have your mental emotional pillar and it was at a time in my life where all four of those had eroded and i had a chat chance encounter with a great bodybuilder a German guy i don't know if you've ever heard of him Arnold something or other i think he went on to be an actor and a politician as well but he was given a seminar in a seminar he was talking about the value of the gym and how the exercise and nutrition helped make him a better person because it also led to the fellowship of like-minded individuals who also would help him socially you know so it led to friendships and they would talk about deep spiritual topics and it helped balance him emotionally and i heard about all those things and i sat there and i was thinking to myself i think i was like 13 or 14 at the time and I’m thinking wow all those things are affecting me and making me feel like a fractured human being um so even from that young age of 13 or 14 years old not understanding the concepts as we have them laid out in ironclad now i realized how important those things were for your wholeness and your wellness and making you a better well-rounded person and have the ability to bounce back from trauma so my foundations for the importance of resiliency go all the way back to my youth and throughout my military career um i have seen it in in every branch of the service I’ve been in and for your listeners I’ve been in the military a long time I’ve been in multiple branches of the service uh as a matter of fact I’ve been in the military so long and so many branches of the service i like to jokingly say i started with king Leonidas at the battle of the Thermopolis in in 560 bc but uh i have spent time in the marine corps and the army and now as i said i am an airman and resiliency has had many different names it's had many different programs but it's been a common thread throughout my time in the military from 1982 until now so it's always been there it's just so great to see what you are doing with this program and how it's being embraced by the command and the airmen and that we have other great airmen and resiliency leaders like sergeant Roberts here that are getting ready to grab this and steer it into an even higher level and even better directions so I’m just honored to be here and I’m just so impressed with what you and what your team are doing um so uh i just wanted to say that and for your audience listeners that's who i am and please whenever you see me walking around stop and engage me because i want to hear your stories about resiliency and about the wing and we as airmen can make this a better place Sgt Roberts ROBERTS: you're a tough act to follow chief I’m Technical Sergeant Gary Roberts i work in the mission management team over in the 102nd OSS and first and foremost i am truly honored to be here you know Mandy you and i had a conversation several months ago and you know we just you know hit it off and started talking about this topic and chief sullivan i think you and i first met in the gym and uh that's how that's how our story started as far as myself and resiliency i didn't realize i didn't realize the impact that i could have on somebody until uh actually a turning point in my life when i was 35 years old and i went to basic training and i really i just kind of existed and never really put much thought into the influence that i could have over uh the positive influence or negative influence that i could have other over people and you know since that time my wife and i have really just immersed ourselves in you know trying to just be better people and you know the our mission statement so to speak is you know to live a life that lives beyond ourselves you know to make a difference in someone's life to you know have that snowball effect that positive uh that positive influence and empowering somebody to be able to go on to greatness and achieve amazing things i mean last night we just saw tom Brady win a seventh super bowl i mean it's absolutely extraordinary and to know that we are all bound to do something great i mean recently a couple years ago i read a book where it said the odds of you being born are 1 in 400 trillion so the chance that you're here just to exist and you know just live a life you know you know what however many years that is and then just move on is i I’m not a believer in that at all what whatsoever and you know if we could be that force multiplier you know even just the three of us or someone listening to understand that everybody's born here to do something amazing and i listened to going back to tom Brady i listened to an interview with him recently where he was really having a tough time when he left California and he went to Michigan state university and he had a mentor a sports psychologist that talked him through and you know showed him the benefit of hard work and determination i mean everybody just saw last night oh Brady won another super bowl you know it's funny i said to my wife last night when Brady won it was almost like i just this um voice kept on coming in my head like Forrest Gump and like oh i just went to the super bowl and we won again you know that it's just you know it's just expected but people don't understand what it takes I’d listen to tom Brady and Julian Edelman and speak at a Tony Robbins event a few years ago and just what they do in the off season it just doesn't just walk on the field and just is just greatness and the amount of work and the time effort and energy that gets put in to do that it's the same as resiliency and you know understanding who you are and how you operate and understand that you have the power to achieve or accomplish anything in your life and you're always stronger than you think you're tougher than you think and you absolutely can achieve anything and I’m such a huge proponent and being like the sports psychologist or the sports psychiatrist that tom Brady was a major influence in him in his life i would love to you know empower somebody even just one person you know to go on and be the next Jonas Salk be the next you know Thomas Edison or the life-changing uh that changes the course of history and I’m such a huge believer in that and like i said to go back to the beginning Mandy the conversation you and i had you know when we first met um i just i love that you care so much and chief sullivan you know you listeners out there really don't understand you know chief sullivan has a very powerful voice and a powerful message but i was afforded the opportunity when i listened to chief sullivan he speaks from the heart and i could see it in his eyes and how much he genuinely cares and when he says to you if you see him pull him aside and talk to him he wants to know that's not just words you know he i could see it in his eyes i mean we're all wearing masks but you can just see right into his eyes about how much he believes in that and I’m just so honored to be part of this uh to be part of this team and i can't thank you enough for the invitation GIVENS: oh absolutely um you've inspired me just with uh and reinvigorate me just with everything that you've um mentioned you know regarding personal okay well i would say personal accountability but just um the mindset that you have to take as an individual to see your worth and to know your worth and to go out there and achieve the things that you were born to do and i agree with you 100 Gary i really do and i want our listeners to know like everything that um both chief and Gary have said just now i mean i this is why we're here today we're here to discuss this we're here to empower listeners and um to provide you our insights and how we came to feel this way about resenting about ourselves and to let you know that it may not be easy but it pays dividends pays dividends for yourself and for everybody around you so um just to kind of go through a few things you know um i want to begin first with uh piggybacking off of what you said Gary i want to talk about us as individuals and how we can be accountable for our own resiliency and what that actually means and I’ll just begin real briefly about my own uh resiliency and resiliency story but i didn't i grew up in a very difficult home life very abusive mentally and physically and i really just had myself to rely on but you know hindsight's always 20 20 and i just naturally like to reflect on the things that are going on in my life and at the time i just kept looking to the future and thinking about what my life was going to look like years down the road and i just held on to that and i knew that um growing up in that environment it wasn't going to define who i was going to become and i I’m very grateful to this day that i had that mindset i know not everybody has that mindset i look at my sister i look at my brother their lives are very much different than mine and that was very frustrating for me at some points in my life and i just couldn't figure out for the life of me why was it that i was able to overcome that environment and they weren't and um you know being a member of the air force I’ve been very privileged in being a part of the resiliency program I’ve discussed in a previous podcast with Jill Garvin how i came to be a resiliency training aide pulling my weight with instructing resiliency with first term airmen and you know providing my support with wingman down days squadron support and then it just so happened that the MRT at my wing saw that potential in me and offered me to go you know TDY and from there it was the sky was the limit i just felt so empowered to build training programs and build training into my flight and just be that voice of resilience and use my experience as i am now to carry that forward but it wasn't until the air force and going through that experience that i started really doing a lot of work on myself really self-reflecting on that home life environment that i came out of and i would hear people tell me you know you were lucky you were really lucky um that you made it out unscathed or i would never guess you know just speaking with you that you came from an environment like that and i had to you know take a second take that in kind of reflect and then come back and say you know what I’m not lucky that was a lot of work and it is continually a lot of work it's not um a one-and-done achievement resiliency your self-accountability for your emotions and how you process information and your mindset it's not a one and done it's not a goal to the finish line it's never ending it's never ending work and i think sometimes that we think of a resiliency lesson and you just come together you learn a skill you learn a tool and it's just over and that's not how this works this is continuing ongoing progress that you need to invest in yourself and again it's always going to pay dividends so um you know going back a little bit you know going through my teen years and just keeping focused on the future joining the air force going through resiliency um just realizing again that it's an ongoing process and uh having that accountability to reflect on my choices the things that i do the goals that i have and seeing that it's all connected it just only empowers me to want to help other people basically and knowing that it wasn't sheer luck that has brought me here today at this table having both of you here to share your experiences that it again chief you had mentioned with your physical fitness goals it wasn't luck it was hard work continually hard work same with you Gary i mean you're a physically fit dude it's obvious that you know when you walk around people always know they can come to you for advice when it comes to their physical fitness and it's been hard work for you no doubt and um just like the physical aspect of our lives the social the mental everything that comes in between the adversities that we are challenged with it takes a lot of work and um I’m going to shut my mouth real quick but i would like for you know either of you to jump in and kind of share a bit about that i know chief you did talk a bit about your teenage years and with your physical journey but would either be like to talk about maybe some mental adversities that you've overcame SULLIVAN: Mandy the first thing i want to do is i want to go back and find out who it was that said that you should uh get into resiliency as far as training and programs because i want to find them and coin them because you have been a godsend in this wing um your devotion to resiliency and your vision uh it's just it's incredible and we are just so lucky to have you um but back to uh back to the question at hand when it comes to resiliency aside from any program there's one thing i like to try to get across to everybody which i think is a fundamental philosophy of resiliency and that is mindset it all comes down to mindset and I’ve heard over and over again that you know you have a victim or a survivor mentality i think there's one more mentality because when i look at victim or survivor it almost sounds like it's a 50 50 chance the mindset that i look at is the warrior mindset the mindset that says i don't care what's coming at me i don't care if it is the Mongol hordes and all i have is a butter knife i shall stand here and overcome that's resiliency and its resiliency at any level that you have but another thing that i want to slide into that is even the most the most resilient person in the world even somebody that has all the tools and all the training even the strongest stumble and it's not who you are don't show me who you are with an easy victory show me who you are overcoming a defeat and i will give you a second example of myself having spent my entire life embracing and working on not even before they were defined but just working on those four aspects of my being uh my physical my spiritual my emotional um you know in my social and constantly working those and having them entwined in my life i came to a period in my life where i suffered repeated instances uh as a for the listening audience i had a long law enforcement career and in law enforcement careers things happen and i had a marriage at the time and the marriage was crumbling because of what was happening to me in the police department and attitude changes and let's just say over a period of time acute and chronic stresses crept up and i fractured i was i fractured and here is where i like to talk about that wingmanship and that social aspect the police officers have you know the blue line i don't even want to get into that i don't even like that term um because it can be used in a negative or positive but they there's a fellowship much like the fellowship of the airmanship you know the fellowship of airmen and i had a supervisor who pulled me aside and basically said hey listen um you were this kind of a police officer with his hand raised high and he said you've become this kind of a police officer with his hand low in a very short period of time and this is not who you are right now and you need to work some things out so I’m giving you some time off because it's probably going to lead ultimately to you know a bad ending for you as a police officer you're not where you need to be and i thought about what you know you're absolutely right i got to work on this and what am i going to do and i decided that i went to uh my wife at the time and uh relationship like i said was fractured and i said listen I’m going to take some time and i think i know what i need to do uh i have friends even though I’m not you know really working with them and emotionally i know I’m a little fractured and i haven't really been working out or training and i need to do something physical and whatever i do physical needs to be spiritual too and i need to connect but i don't need to connect with others i need to reconnect with myself and so i went out and grabbed my ruck and bought some good hiking boots and i went and i decided i was going to hike the Appalachian trail and i remember uh i remember uh my former my former wife uh and we ultimately did separate and divorce but had nothing to do with this we got back on track for a long period of time and uh we had a very amicable you know uh parting of ways and we still get along well um but at this time this was this was years after so at this time i told her i didn't know how long I’d be but i have up to 30 days off and i started hiking the Appalachian trail and when i was hiking i was i I’m going through and I’m thinking and I’m thinking about different programs and different talks and different speakers and different things that happen to my life and trying to put the more positive connotation on it and i remember walking and just stopping at places and just looking at a tree doing no more than look at a tree and say it's a really beautiful tree I’ve neglected seeing that tree before I’ve neglected seeing any trees because I’ve let myself get cluttered I’ve let myself become fractured i remember listening to the birds and listening to the sounds i remember looking up and thinking you know thinking about a higher power um spirituality to me i am a man of faith but to me i believe that your spiritual pillar is whatever you want to make it whether it's you know the force from star wars or whatever um that that is becomes your you know your tribal you know leaning or whatever but the spirituality is within and i reconnected and i walked about nine or ten days don't know how far i walked but i remember i got to uh one of the places that you could camp out and i ended up walking down and found a convenience store and i called home and i said hey can you come pick me up here i feel good and i got my bounce back and i went back to work and talked to my supervisors and basically fully recovered and balanced so i guess the two things i want to get across um from my personal story is even though i felt i had the tools even though i felt i had the playbook i knew i knew how to be tom Brady on the field but adversity happened and it affected my mindset and once my mindset fractured i needed something to get me back on so it was that social aspect and that fellowship and having a wingman turn around and say you know yo dude um you know you're off glide path and you know your rate of dissent is really hard and you're a sharp 90 down you need to recorrect and I’m here if you need me but do what you need to do and then take it upon myself to do that so um you know you can be out there and you could be listening to this podcast right now and you could be at a point to fracture and we understand reach out to a wingman reach out to a friend reach out to one of the three of us absolutely um get you know get the help that you need and start working that mindset i mean people laugh all the time when they see me in the hallway hey chief how you doing and anybody who knows me i say one of two things which is best day ever or best day of my life is it really not every day is the best day of my life no when i realize it's kind of a standing joke but the point that I’m trying to make is that if i can if it's the worst day of my life and i keep saying it's the best i can fake it till i make it because i will change my mindset you know words mean something and what you tell yourself about yourself means the most out of anything and if you tell yourself i am valuable if you tell yourself i matter even if you don't believe it when you say it and you say it over enough you will get that mindset because the reality is you do you do you do matter if you are a member of this wing and you're an airman you're an airman in this wing you are valuable you matter you matter to your wingmen you matter to your friends you matter to this world and just because you don't think so keep telling yourself you do and change that mindset and get you know you know lean on the tools that are out there for you and we'll bring it around full circle and you'll be where you need to be before you know it GIVENS: thank you for those words chief and um you know again like what Gary said and for our listeners you know chief you are one of the most easiest senior NCOs to speak with and you always empower me when we have conversations um so thank you for those words of encouragement you're absolutely right um I’m here i know Gary you would volunteer your time for sure chief um for anybody listening that's having a hard time and um you know always give your co-workers and um your supervisor whoever you're trusting right now you know in your day-to-day life give them an opportunity to you know sometimes you underestimate the people around you but at the end of the day we're all brothers and sisters in arms and we have each other's back and best interest at heart i know it um chief thank you again for sharing um Gary would you would you mind sharing a bit of uh some resiliency that you've uh garnered in your life through some uh challenges or mental maybe some mental uh adversity well ROBERTS: just like you said both of you know it's a couple things that you said and you know one thing that you said um about you know people's opinions of you and you kind of touched on it as well and one of the greatest quotes i heard from a mentor that I’ve never met but i listen to him all the time les brown um i don't know if both of you are familiar with them um he has a great quote he says someone's opinion of you does not have to be your reality you know and exactly to build off what you said chief if you believe in yourself you know that's where it all starts and just like you said Mandy about things will get hard it will be challenging and again what you said as well chief about how you know it's not always you know you're not always going to not every day is going to be sunshine and rainbows you know and much like yourself uh when i uh when people say hey you know Gary how are you and I’m living the dream you know is it always sunshine and rainbows no absolutely not but when i really think about my life and where i came from and where i am now i mean the power of belief the power of hope is i feel one of the most strongest draws in the universe and i read a book I’m sure both of you are familiar with it uh make your bed by Admiral McRaven and if those of you out here if after this podcast if you take i believe it's 19 minutes and listen to admiral craven's commencement speech at the university of Texas in 2014 uh where he teaches very simple principles and attributes to his time in the service as a navy seal uh it's really great and but i mean the power of hope the power of belief and you know there's that old quote i mean i love my f i grew up with quotes with my father and uh that's it's funny because i believe it uh i speak in quotes often you know because i believe that they're uh that there's a great message and if you can keep displaying positive messages out there um you know just be better off for the world but um that quote that says whether you think you can or you can't you're right and if you approach something with hesitation or disbelief that you're going to be able to accomplish it you know what you're probably not going to accomplish it you know and just like i said in the beginning i mean the odds of you know your parents meeting at the time they met and your grandparents meeting at the time they met i mean the odds of you being born is one in 400 trillion so i mean i can't stress enough that you know everybody's here for a purpose so when people ask me hey how are you I’m living the dream you know in the power of manifestation a lot of the books that i read a lot of the podcasts i listen to the panel discussions you know and you listen to these super successful people they're regular people like you and i but they achieve great things you know why because they get out of their comfort zone and they did what was hard i mean chief you know like i said in the beginning i met you in the gym you know failure is that's where the growth happens i mean we work out to failure you know when i put that weight in that bar and i push that bar i push it to until i can't push it anymore and if i keep pushing that every single day I’m going to be able to you know go from two reps to three reps and then three reps to four reps and you can draw that correlation in life where you put yourself out you be uncomfortable you believe in yourself because we're so trapped to this the uh routine and self-doubt i mean you wake up i mean if you think about it you know you wake up probably you know before covid you know there's everybody's life's a routine you wake up in the same side of the bed you grab your phone you check your social media you know you take a picture of your breakfast you post it on social media have coffee you know you drive to work the same day the same way you see the same people and it's a routine and us in the military a lot of us you know feel like routine is good you know and there is some benefits to routine but it's also that it's also breeds stag stagnation where you know you just get into the same and you fall into a rut you know and you know if you if you keep on doing the same thing over and over again and you're not being productive if you know if you have a bad mood and then you have uh you know you meet somebody and they you know if they do you wrong or if they uh if they make you angry you know and then you keep on having you know this this time that you're having this emotional reaction is called a refractory period you know and then if you have that you know you carry that with you a whole week you know spiral exactly you can start to spiral and then you know you carry that for like a month you know and then and then it becomes a habit you know you so you know what's wrong with Gary you know i don't know let's ask you know what happened well i had this thing happen to me like a month ago you know I’m having this long drawn-out emotional reaction well if you keep on having that emotional reaction that that that happens and you prolong it you know into months and years then it becomes a personality trait you know so it's breaking that cycle and it's understanding recognizing saying you know what I’m not going to let this happen to me and i recently it's funny because i always wanted to learn how to meditate but i thought that it was just absolutely it was just hogwash that is not possible to shut your brain off and meditate until i had a knee surgery that completely put me out of commission and those that really know me knows that i just don't stop working i mean i finished working the drill weekend immediately went out plowing and i got home about you know 11 o'clock last night and then i woke up and i had to clear my own property you know so I’m always busy i always get something going on my wife and i we're a blended family we both have two kids so we have four kids pulling us in all opposite ends of the direction my wife's you know flat out busy with work you know she's very successful real estate agent and moving up in her company and so when i had to have a knee surgery and i was completely out of commission on the couch sitting there doing nothing i don't that's not my M.O. at all and i really i read a book a co-worker gave to me um by Eckhart Tolle and he was teaching how to meditate and it's just like anything else you know you keep practicing it more and more and more it becomes easier and the power of breathing about you know just closing your eyes and then not having any external stimuli being able to creep in and just focus on one thing focus on your heartbeat focus on your breathing and just focus on positivity you know because another thing that I’ve learned over the course of my years is that humans are the only species in the face of the earth that will be able to think a thought and be able to have an emotional reaction to it i think all of us you know that wear the uniform you know it's funny because prove positive to this my son who's 17 years old recently just watched videos about 911 and he really he wanted to reach out to me and he and he texted me and he was so emotional about it you know it was you know we're coming up on the 20th anniversary and it's funny because he and i were having this conversation about it and i started to get emotional you know and it was 20 years ago but to think a thought and you have an emotional reaction to it you know so if you think a thought and you know it's negative you know you could feel fear anxiety you know your heart may start to race imagine thinking a thought on positivity and breathing and putting yourself in a good place and just like you said chief and you know a little while ago about how the uh I’m losing my train of thought right now I’m trying to cover so many so many things going on in my brain because this is such a topic near and dear to my heart about um having um you know thinking positive and believing in yourself and you know not sitting in that in that in that negative mindset you know and bad things will happen to you and life is not always going to be sunshine and roses not everything not everything's going to be you know go the way you wanted to you know i mean you have you don't have the power to change you don't have power to change someone else's behavior but you have the power to change your behavior and your reaction to that behavior you know another book that i read the four the four agreements uh fantastic book and it's like no one has the power to make you angry no one has the power to make you sad it's you are in control of your own emotional reaction to that you know and it's a choice and believe me for kids you know it's not always easy you know i mean they do something i mean right my youngest stepson just got his Xbox back today after you know losing it for 30 days you know because he had an emotional reaction to something that happened you know and then there's consequence so it's very important to understand you know that you have the power within you know the power of meditation the power of positive thinking and the bet the more you can practice that the more you can build up your resilience to you know negative influences the better you are suited that when that not if but when those hardships occur you will have the power to overcome it GIVENS: absolutely Gary um and i want to continue with the momentum that you just you know you spoke about but um having those i guess skills and tools to recognize that's i think a lot of our issue sometimes is maybe not always being able to recognize that we're negative spiraling um or maybe we do see it and we're you know how would you say maybe not feeling empowered or not having the right mindset to really dig ourselves out but um you know there's so much that goes into play with that you know having a good um there was a term board of directors from air force resiliency curriculum having people trusting close to you chief you had your PD supervisor pull you aside or you have your wife and you have your kids to give you that personal accountability but it seems like we're all three of us a common denominator that we are pretty in tune with ourselves we put a lot of work into ourselves and um the training for resiliency comes in how that comes into play for our airmen here within the wing is having the interest to work on yourself first and foremost and then having that pay dividends with our working relationships for our co-workers and subordinates um you know we talked a bit quite a bit about our personal lives but i think it's important to have the discussion about how that plays into our professional lives and careers um again you know an adversarial type of uh event that happened in my life chief I’m a divorcee as well remarried and um i remember very vividly going through divorce and not really telling anybody at work um first of all it's difficult i come from a career field with very few females and the guys you know they kind of were rough around the edges and i just didn't want to feel vulnerable in that and like letting them know that um because sometimes people like to joke around with things they don't know what is uh off base you know to joke around so i didn't really let anybody in on that and i remember being at work and uh having to leave for an appointment to file some paperwork or i think it was signing the um divorce decree but in any case i had a peer co-worker same rank um i was turning work over to him and he just decided to lay in on me about it and um i was like hey you know i discussed this with our supervisor I’m just letting you know like i have to turn this over to you i have things i need to take care of and at the time i was just so stressed and um just oh my goodness it's not like me to be this and this is really the only time that I’ve really experienced this and that's why i remember it so well but i let it i just let them have it i went in on them in front of everybody that we worked with and i believe i even might have cussed at him i I’m pretty sure i used unprofessional language and i did not tell him why i was uh turning the work over to him i was just letting him know like hey I’ve already discussed this i don't know why you're being this way in that way and just really going in on him and um it didn't take too long i have to say after that event i want to say it was later in the day i went it was like during the mid-part of the day or late launch um went took care of the paperwork then came back and um pulled him aside and i apologized and um i let him know that it wasn't it was a very uncommon reaction but you know i mentioned this because you were just speaking about controlling our emotions and being controlled like nobody has control over how angry you get or how happy you are you we all have that control of how we see life and if whether or not we're going to be angry about something or have an emotional reaction to something and i share this example with everybody because again chief nobody's perfect and um i strive to be the best version of myself every day but there are times in our lives where we're not our best selves and that was a moment for me to reflect and to say like you know these people don't they don't know what's going on in my life and i didn't let them in and i didn't i could have let them know something was happening that was a choice of mine but um to carry that that weight onto my shoulders and um not have you know someone either a mentor or someone i trusted within that work environment to let them know hey there's some stuff's going on and uh you know what at any level really i didn't do that and i and then i just had a really negative adverse reaction and um fortunately for me this co-worker and i were we're good friends outside of work as well i was actually his wife was one of my bridesmaids but um we the relationship wasn't um severed basically uh from that moment but you know it's important that we keep our emotions uh and that we're accountable to our emotions with our co-workers because again adversities happen tensions get high your nerves are exposed if you will but we got to make sure that we have that accountability um so that we can not only not you know continue with our mission set but have subordinates and have co-workers that are willing and vulnerable enough to come with come to us maybe not to disclose granularly like what is happening in their lives but to be comfortable say hey you know I’m not I’m not feeling my best and um hey i just want you to know that maybe that's all they need you need to know or maybe they a little you know open up a little bit more but that's the intent of this podcast that's the intent of the resiliency for me is really just to build that unity within the community here in the 102nd and i know it just starts with us and with our listeners i hope that you're feeling empowered as we continue this conversation to um to think a little bit about a lot of the things actually that we're talking about and i know it's all very familiar this is a human resistance is human and adversity is human and uh nothing that we've discussed today isn't something that someone else hasn't experienced themselves SULLIVAN: i agree with that and one of the things you were just saying is you know you how being in control of your emotions Gary you're absolutely right and how you had a slip up with um you know with one of your peers at work and that happens but how to get control of your emotions and i want to share one technique that worked for me because there's going to be people out here listening right now going yeah you know what that's great but i have that happen to me and how do you control it and the mindset thing doesn't work really well and i always like to try to reinforce with examples and how the pillars interconnect together so if you feel your emotional pillar is fractured and you know you feel that tension building up or whatever you can always lean on one of the other pillars i know some people rely on prayer some people medication some people will phone a friend I’m going to give you a real world example of what happened to me so i had a situation at work uh i ran late it was just a really bad day got you know just one thing after another uh you know it was a bad call it was just bad everything was just a bad day we can all picture that every one of us has had that same bad day no matter what you do whether it's sell cars or whether you're on a seal team we've all had that bad day so I’m late coming home for dinner i didn't make it on time and my wife um Susan and i will mention her right now in case because she does like to listen to the podcast because she's never been in the military but she is an airman all right so she is awesome absolutely awesome but she holds me accountable so i didn't call her an hour and a half late coming home for dinner and i open up the door and i come walking in the door and she's like you know hey you're running late okay i was at the breaking point and what do i do yeah I’m running late yeah of course why are you asking blah blah blah and i flip out and i go marching down the bed the to the bedroom and i slam the bedroom door and i got my back to the bedroom door and i went uh oh about five seconds later the door open and i just feel a presence standing there and as i turn around she's standing there all five foot four hundred and forty pounds of her arms folded looking at me and she goes do you want to reevaluate what you just said to me and i looked at her on the verge of tears and said deeply i had a bad day okay all right you had a bad day we talked it out fast forward about four months later that day repeated itself again because our bad days seem to repeat themselves okay yes okay life is a gray slate with brilliant pops of color in an occasional black dot those black dots happen and it was another black dot day for me and same things happen and i can feel it and I’m starting to lose my emotional edge you know and it's time to go home and I’m going to walk out the door and i went i don't want that to happen again so i went downstairs into the gym that we had in the police department and i just started banging out some reps and i started working on the bag and i drank a lot of water and i had a protein drink so i put my nutrition imbalance and i used my exercise my fitness pillar okay my fitness pillar and it left me and i went home and i walked through the door and same thing hey you're late for dinner tonight honey everything okay i just had kind of a bad day I’m just going to eat my meal and i just want to sit here and just look at you and appreciate you wow same bad day same situation two different outcomes because i just utilized one of the other pillars that worked for me so when you sit here and you listen to the podcast you hear us talking about that that change your mind or do whatever sometimes you need a spark sometimes you need that thing that makes that snap in your head sometimes your ooda loop is just fixated on the wrong thing and you're spiraling down you've got target fixation what do you need to do lean on another pillar you know say a prayer if that's your thing phone a friend if that's your thing do some push-ups if that's your thing but break it and that will allow you to re-engage that mindset and rethink about it and go back through the door so you don't take it out uh the wrong way on people so like you said recover after to the people that you've yelled at uh it took me a lot of groveling i think she got flowers every day for a week but you know we recovered and that's the other thing when it comes to your resiliency and the relationships that you build you can have a bad day and you can say the wrong thing but if you've built the right relationships with your surroundings people will understand and they will forgive you so i always i don't remember my successes i generally tend to always remember the times i wronged somebody the times i said the wrong thing or made somebody feel you know less than perfect because everybody's perfect in their own way and i generally tend to hold on down those and i tend not to want to repeat that behavior even though I’ve been forgiven um so you know find a pillar that you can lean on do what you need to do to snap out of that ooda loop and break that mindset and then go back and re-heal those relationships because I’m sorry it's just two words right but words mean something you know words mean something and so never ever pass up an opportunity to say I’m sorry i never pass up an opportunity to get pizza with friends either oh yeah this is why i don't compete in bodybuilding anymore GIVENS: real quick i you know something a lot of what you said resonates with some um i don't even know if you call it a metaphor but uh basically how i view resiliency and i think that you guys would like this but everyone's familiar with getting something new whether it's maybe a radio a computer alarm clock and it always comes with commercial data it always comes with a table of contents and it's how do you use it how do you maintain it if there's something wrong with it there's a troubleshooting guide of some sort usually with it and i look at resiliency the same way all of us as human beings come with our own handbook but it's not laid out for us it's not written for us but if we take the time we can write it for ourselves and like you said chief you know my way of dealing with adversity in a moment having that you know a split decision to you know emotionally outburst may not be the same as someone else's or yourself maybe you know the physical pillar is where you lean mine might be something else but in any case like you said if we can hone in on our individual needs and write our own handbook on how we can care for ourselves our overall wellness you know how much better will we be as people and how much better will we be for each other and i just i don't know SULLIVAN: I’m stealing that by the way oh yeah that's your own instruction manual yeah exactly i love that that's awesome GIVENS: yeah i don't know when i thought about that i think it's from my uh PMEL days working with maintenance technical orders and technical orders like having to be uh very in tune with those and i just i just think that it's the best way to explain it even um to children you know if you know we have kids out there for our listeners i know a lot of you have children if they're having a hard time trying to even balance their own behaviors and you know being accountable to their own actions which i know is a struggle for young kids you know maybe explain to them terms right might help them I’m not sure ROBERTS: well it's listening to your story chief i can absolutely relate to that my wife you know I’ll come in and I’ll you know I’ll be having a bad day and my wife will just come up to me with a smile on her gorgeous face and look at me with her beautiful eyes and she'll just say to me she said I’m not I’m just not going to allow you to be to be like that you know and i just i just melt and i just say you know you're right you're right and i just you know because it's it might it might sound simple but you know sometimes it's definitely it's definitely easier said than done but i mean at the end of the day it really is a decision and when i realize when i first started to really understand that i was beginning to grow is when i swallowed that uncomfortable pill and said everything is my fault it's all my fault i own every decision i make every action i take and that's and i need to hold i can't sit there and i I’m very candid with my kids and sometimes my wife thinks I’m a little rough and i just i tell my kids i said you know what no one's going to care why you didn't do something you can give all kinds of excuses of why this didn't get done or you can point the finger at somebody else i said at the end of the day you got to stay on your own two feet and you got to look at that person in the mirror and you know what you need to understand that you are flawed that you are not perfect and you will make mistakes and you will fail and you will fail often but you just have to get on that back on that proverbial horse and understand you know what know your outcome and just keep changing your approach and if it if it keeps if it doesn't work out one way or another keep holding true to your outcome and keep changing your approach and you're not going to i mean how many people you know i think a very common thing that people struggle with is you know diet and exercise you know a lot of people make excuses oh you know i can't i don't have time or you know i can't do this i can't do that or you know it's my genetics and that's why i can't lose weight you know at the end of the day you own every action that you take and you just need to decide that you know what you are going to i think it was Malcolm x said that uh what you don't hate you will tolerate you know when you when you make that decision you know what I’m not going to do this anymore and you make that you know motivation gets you going and that only brings you so far it's discipline doing it the same tough action every single day again knowing your outcome and keep changing your approach I’m not going to get into there's a I’m not going to get into the whole story but you look up Sylvester Stallone story about how he's how he started you know he was so down and out that he didn't have any money at all he sold his wife's jewelry and the only thing that he had is the one thing that he had in his life that he loved and that was his dog so he sold his dog for 25 bucks to a guy outside of a liquor store and then you know he took that 25 and he I’m paraphrasing this but he ended up trying to sell uh he wrote rocky you know and every and all the filmmakers that he brought it to um you know he want they love the premise but he said you know what i have to start in the movie and they were like what are you kidding me like you talk out of the side of your mouth you look stupid like you can't do it and they offered him i think upwards of 200 000 for the script and then he walked away because he knew his outcome and he wasn't going to uh he wasn't going to deviate from that he ended up selling the script for thirty thousand dollars in a starring role in rocky he took that thirty thousand dollars and he went back to that same liquor store and he had to uh he waited for a couple days hoping that the guy that he sold his dog from would frequent the store and then in the third day he the guy walked in he says oh you know remember me i saw my dog he's like yeah the guy's like yeah i love the dog the dog's great he's like you know what i was in a bad place you know i like to buy it back he's like no way you sold me the dog you know fair and square he says i give you a hundred bucks for the dog he says no it's my dog I’ll give you a thousand dollars for the dog no way he ended up having to pay fifteen thousand dollars for the dog and a roll in rocky in order to get that back you know what again know your outcome keep changing your approach and don't stop changing your approach until you achieve your outcome you will fail you will fail over and over and over again but like you chief failure is where the growth happens right you know we remember our failures the adversity far greater than our successes but another thing that i live by is what you focus on you will find i mean we just we're approaching the year with covid could absolutely find things to complain about to you know play the poor me about you know but you know what i still say hey Gary how you doing living the dream because at the end of the day I’m happy I’m healthy i have an amazing family i have amazing friends joining this unit was the greatest decision i ever made in my life i mean i had a whole career before that and every day i meet new people and i learn about different people and it's truly extraordinary the collection of people that we have the intelligence and the caring that we have in this unit is just I’ve never been surrounded by a greater collection of amazing human beings in my entire life you know and i feel like i owe it to this world not just this unit or my family but i owe it to the world to give back and um i just uh you know i say wholeheartedly um I’m on a mission to make as much impact and share enough knowledge and to be that ear and to um you know can't emphasize enough that you know what anything is possible you just have to believe it you know and i feel like that's what resilience is just keep on you know repeated failures until you have that breakthrough moment you know GIVENS: this is a great time uh to transition and the fact why we're all here today we're here to um for anyone listening to have a call to arms to for people to self-identify within our wing to step up like you have Gary like i have and like chief has to have a voice in resiliency within this wing and within their flights their squadron their group so please reach out to myself, chief sullivan we're both Master Resiliency Trainers within the wing and we're working on getting a program together um to train up master resiliency trainers and resiliency training aides within the wing and really beef up the culture of resiliency within the wing SULLIVAN: to foot stomp on that um this program was actually uh briefed to uh the wing commander colonel riley and to the group commanders and we have their support and when you think of resiliency this all goes back to the resilience tactical resilience tactical pause that we did which i thought was a very successful event and i think we brought in great guest speakers and it really showed wing wide that we need to keep messaging resiliency and we need to have it as a team effort so what better way to do that than to set up a resiliency team not just one or two people that are doing resiliency in the wing but a team so the thought process is to build the resiliency triad which would be the master resilience of master resiliency trainer your uh your RTAs and your first sergeants within every squadron and flight so we're not limited limiting the team to one person per squadron so if there's like three people in the squadron if you have two friends in your squadron and you're doing a lot of resiliency activities and you're active in that it doesn't mean that you know we're going to pick one no we want to have one minimum in every single squadron every single flight you know and at the group level but we can take more so if anything we've talked about interests you um you know reach out to one of the three of us reach out to your first sergeant or reach out to your chief because this is this is real this is something that we really want to do it is not a program even though i think it would make an excellent EPR bullet um you know you know uh it will uh it but it's not a program it's not a collateral duty it's a group of dedicated individuals that want to work on improving resiliency as a culture so that we all embrace it together and we're doing a good job of that but to help define it to help guide it and help build the team so if you're listening and you want to get involved in something that that is just a really great initiative then step up and we'll get you the training you know Mandy’s got a great training program we'll get you trained up and we're going to get this thing uh you know get this thing rolling GIVENS: thank you for those words chief and i want to thank you chief and sergeant Roberts for contributing to the unity within the 102nd community and for those of you listening and wish to contribute to an episode of the warrior airman podcast please reach out to me via outlook email or my personal email at i look forward to hearing from you take care.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Feb. 5, 2021 - Arrest in development - a gate runner exercise scenario

      The capabilities of 102nd Security Forces Squadron Airmen to defend the perimeter of Otis Air National Guard Base were put to the test during a no-notice exercise here, Jan. 27. Security Forces ensure resources and personnel are kept safe and secure 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These professionals are knowledgeable in the fundamental aspects of a concept known as Force Protection – a doctrine that mandates the safeguard of lives and valuable resources. According to Joint Publication 3-10, Joint Security Operations in Theater, “Force Protection is multi-dimensional, providing multi-layered protection of forces and resources. It covers actions at home station, in transit and at deployed locations. It includes not only protecting military members and civilian employees, but also their families, contract employees, and visitors while on an installation.” “In the Security Forces enterprise our members are called Defenders,” said 2d Lt Allen Nancarrow, operations officer for the 102nd SFS. “The term comes from our motto, Defensor Fortis, [meaning] Defenders of the Force. It is the responsibility and mission of every Security Forces Defender to provide force protection. The members of the 102nd Security Forces Squadron stand ready to react to any situation that could endanger the force.” To ensure personnel assigned to these critical positions are prepared to meet the challenges of such an important role, Mission Focused Exercises are routinely conducted. MFEs are simulated but realistic scenarios that test the competency of Airmen and provide confidence in their skills and training, but also provide leadership with a clear evaluation of mission capabilities. “The IG is committed to evaluating all aspects of mission on Otis ANGB ranging from SFS protection to Cyber mission execution,” said Capt. Craig Schoeck, Director of Inspections, “Embrace the changing exercise culture; it’s about progress not perfection.” To this end, the wing Inspector General’s Office, assisted by wing inspection team members from the 102nd SFS, planned a no-notice MFE to evaluate Security Forces’ response to an individual speeding past a checkpoint at an entry gate. The “suspect”, an inspector with the IG, floored the throttle of his POV when the entry controller waived him forward. True to his training, the controller deployed the active vehicle barriers, stopping the suspect in his tracks. Response to the attempted breach was instantaneous as communications between Defenders, coupled with their quick and skilled reaction to the scenario, brought an umbrella of security down upon the scene, and the assailant. Once the suspect was taken into custody and hand-cuffed, Airmen descended upon his vehicle which was searched thoroughly. Their efforts paid off. Raising the stakes, not only did the suspect storm the gate, but he was also “armed” with two simulated concealed weapons. Had this been an actual event, there would be more to the story. In this case, it was a simulation – but a simulation that yielded confidence; not only within the Airmen who protect the force, but by those who work on the installation each and every day who know they are safe and secure, due in no small part to this group of Defenders protecting them. Airmen were evaluated on their ability to stop and apprehend a suspect, searching the individual and vehicle, and proper procedures upon discovery of weapons. They effectively handled the situation. “Exercises such as this one, accomplish two things: First, it allows the unit to showcase their capabilities. Those capabilities are the products of training, communication, resources, and leadership,” said Mr. Scott Etler, Director of Inspections and the scenario’s ‘perpetrator’. “Second, it gives the IG the opportunity to provide unbiased feedback to the commander on how truly effective those capabilities are.” The 102nd SFS is committed to defending the mission by ensuring the safety of the wing’s most valuable resource, its Airmen. All personnel support force protection – all personnel serve as security forces’ eyes and ears. If you see or hear of anything suspicious, contact the 102nd IW Base Defense Operations Center at 508-968-4303. Remember, if you see something, say something!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for February 2021 - Col Enrique Dovalo

      Hello Team Otis. I’m Col Enrique Dovalo, commander of the 102d ISR Group and have the distinct honor of providing this month’s Wing command message. This will probably be different than what you’re used to, since I’m recording this on the 21st of January, one day after a smooth transfer of power in the Executive Branch yesterday, despite the recent turmoil our country has experienced. My words today are inspired by those recent events and the fact that in February we celebrate one of my favorite leaders: George Washington. Yes, he was a flawed man who ultimately accommodated slavery rather than confront it as his conscience demanded. But as both general and President, he epitomized a level of impartiality, humility, and patience in decision making from which we can all learn. I want to speak to you specifically about two of our traditions that come from Washington’s era and were heavily influenced by him as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. First, our Oath of Enlistment and Oath of Office. They have changed over the years, but the sentiments of our oaths have generally remained constant. Unlike the armed forces of other nations, including some of our allies, we don’t swear allegiance to any person, political party, or organization. Rather, we swear to support and defend the Constitution. That Constitution is the embodiment of the will of the American people. And the Constitution and those people are served by our Nation’s institutions, which are filled by civil servants and military members that provide our nation with continuity. I was lucky enough to attend an international school for my senior level PME, which had a heavy focus on international relations and governance. During my time there, one of the most important lessons I learned is that the strength and stability of our government institutions is rare in the world. Those institutions are what have brought us the exceptional security and prosperity we have enjoyed in the last century. We’re already seeing the Senate confirmations of newly appointed heads of departments and cabinet members get confirmed and it seems like a high turnover. There are, in fact, approximately four thousand political appointees in our government, and that sounds like a huge number…until you realize the entire Executive Branch is around 4 million people. That means 99.9% of our government remains the same from election to election, the highest percentage around the globe. And the members of that bureaucracy have an allegiance not to a party, or some individual, but to the Constitution of our Nation, and by extension, the institutions that keep our Nation healthy, stable, and secure. Another tradition is one that General Washington established and reinforced through orders and his personal example is the apolitical nature of our military. He was adamantly opposed to the involvement of military personnel in political affairs. Towards the end of the War for Independence, when there was a dispute with Congress over payments owed to the officers, General Washington intervened personally to address the complaints before they escalated. That episode, later called the Newburgh Conspiracy, was launched by an invitation sent en masse by an anonymous soldier. It brings to my mind today’s social media, where unknown actors can hide behind a veil of anonymity while they create doubts about the very institutions that make our country strong. The undercutting of those institutions is gladly cheered on by our adversaries overseas. As military members, we must remain clear of getting swept up into any such activity. Today we have specific guidance for both military and civilian members as to what are allowable political and social media activities while a member of the Department of Defense, and of the Massachusetts National Guard. We must be above reproach if we are to maintain the public trust. I believe that if Washington were alive today, he would’ve been horrified by some of the recent events and the lack of civil discourse. But he would also be amazed at the strength of our institutions, the international power we wield, and the comparative security we enjoy here at home. And I imagine he would be pleased that the work he and the other Founders did lasted as it has. I’ll close on a more personal note and say that as a first-generation American whose parents escaped military dictatorships in their birth countries, I truly believe this is the greatest Nation in the world. We definitely have our stuff to work through, our institutions aren’t perfect, and we have a ways to go to ensure all citizens are treated fairly and equitably, but there’s a lot of good to build on. As Massachusetts Guardsmen we’ve answered a noble calling that stretches back to 1636. It’s on us to stand of the shoulders of those who came before, learn from their successes and their mistakes, and make things better. We need to keep moving the ball forward, and when we hand it off to the generation that comes next, we need to be ready to hold their weight on our shoulders and set them up for the next milestone that goes beyond what we thought was possible. There have been some dark days for our country this past month, but I’m confident that the future remains bright. Thank you for sticking with me through the history lesson and lengthy commentary today. Happy New Year.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Warrior Airman Podcast for Jan. 14, 2021 – O2X Human Performance Program

      On this episode of the 102 IW Warrior Airman Podcast, Tech. Sgt. Mandy Givens, Master Resiliency Trainer, speaks to two staff members from the O2X Human Performance Program who have been contracted by the Massachusetts National Guard to help Airmen and Soldiers achieve personal performance goals. Ms. Gianna Roma, certified Nutritionist and Dietitian, and Mr. Devon Smith, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach talked to Tech. Sgt. Givens about their background, what resources and available and some of the services O2X provides.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing - Command Message for January 2021 - Colonel James Hoye

      Welcome to 2021. I hope all of you have had a restful holiday season. The first remote drill of calendar year 2021 has been accomplished. As we look on the past year we dealt with a pandemic, we had an inspection by the Air Combat Command Inspector General team. In a sense of deja vu the pandemic is still with us and the IG team will be back in Oct. Social distancing will be the norm for some time to come but vaccinations are arriving so there is light at the end of the tunnel. Social unrest that has been with us for several months has continued. The recent events in Washington D.C. has prompted the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Air Force to send out messages meant for all of the members of the U.S. military. Our leadership has reminded us that we all swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Be the positive example that the country is looking for during these times. We will continue to support the missions assigned to us. Currently we have over 100 of our brothers and sisters deployed in support of Combatant Commanders. Closer to home our Medical Group has again activated members to send them to COVID hotspots in support of the Commonwealth. Let's keep all of those working the missions in our thoughts. In the larger context of preparing for mission accomplishment as part of the national defense strategy the wing leadership has published strategic goals. The goals are aligned with AFI 1-2 Commander's Responsibilities and the Major Graded Areas from 90-201. The four areas are Managing Resources, Leading People, Improving the Unit and Executing the Mission. These goals also line up to support the 2018 National Defense Strategy along with two newer documents put out by our Chief of Staff General Charles Q. Brown. The tasks ahead of us are designed to increase our readiness to the joint force. The NDS points to two large state actors as our competition, China and Russia. I will refer to several documents that are available to all that helped to connect our Wing Goals for the future. If you have not read the 2018 National Defense Strategy please do so. Also please download "Accelerate Change or Lose" which comes to us from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Charles Q. Brown. To support that document he has also put out a series of Action Orders to support what needs to be accomplished. At our level Col Riley has published a slide with his overall goals and many of the metrics we will look at to see when we achieve those goals. As you look at the goals and the metrics please try to visualize how you could help make those goals a reality. One example is under goal of partnering with academia to improve the unit we want to have two Continous Process Improvement events. That takes people trained as Green Belts. That training is available for free, we will compensate personnel that finish it. Another area is developing a two year revolving schedule. We want to try to get out of the too many last minute changes or personnel being surprised by suspenses. The schedule will display two years and get an annual update each year. How can each of us help to make this a unit of choice and develop multi capable Airmen? One of the metrics is to get our performance reports to greater than 85% on time. This is not just a supervisor responsibility. No one cares more about your career than you. As the Ratee make sure your supervisor has all the information they need to give you all the feedback and generate the document as quickly as possible. Under the readiness goal we are planning exercises in June that will be an evaluated using unit's Mission Essential Tasks. For June 2021 each group is establishing an exercise. We will build upon this years planning to support a longer term goal to hold a wing wide exercise in June 2022. All members need to understand what their tasks and how to execute them. The next step is to know how you would do your job when there are constraints placed on you and your unit. With all of the preparations for the readiness exercises on going please do not lose sight of the inspection that will occur in October 2021. The ACC IG will be back to look at us. In many ways the preparations and review of programs required for the CAPSTONE will help us in our preparations for enhancing our readiness. Thos programs are in MICT to cause us work. MICT as a tool helps to keep our programs going forward. Work with the assessor and the unit SAPM to ensure you unit's self-assessment program is up to speed. I would like to end this message with a thank you to all of you. The personnel listening to this message make up one of the most capable military organization in the Air Force. Our future and its success are in your hands.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for Dec. 31, 2020 - Samantha Sandland

      Ms. Jill Garvin, the psychological health director at the 102nd Intelligence Wing, speaks to Samantha Sandland, LICSW, NASM-CPT. She is an independent clinical social worker and a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. Samantha owns and operates Champs Psychological Services, LLC, a Rhode Island-based agency which provides mental health, personal training services, and performance coaching, in both individual and group settings.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for Dec. 8, 2020 – Todd Whitridge, Recovery Centers of America

      On this episode of the 102 IW Wellness Podcast, Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks to Todd Whitridge, Treatment Advocate with the Recovery Centers of America. Todd works in an outreach capacity to get people in to treatment for Substance Use Disorder. He is very active in the Cape Cod recovery community and works tirelessly to help people in their recovery journey. You can reach out to Todd at or at 617-899-0913.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Interview for December 4, 202 - 102 IW HRA Senior Master Sgt. Luciana Hayner

      On this episode we are joined by Senior Master Sgt. Luciana Hayner, the 102nd Intelligence Wing Human Resource Advisor. We talk about her role in this position, how her military and civilian experiences have prepared her for the job and some of the goals she has for the wing HRA program.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for December 2020 - Colonel Mike Cornell

      Seasons’ Greetings. I’m Colonel Mike Cornell and I am privileged to deliver this month’s Wing Command Team Message to you, the men and women of the 102nd Intelligence Wing. For many of us, December is traditionally a time to reflect on our accomplishments over the past year, and an opportunity to look ahead, and set goals for ourselves in the year to come. But after what has been a tumultuous and unprecedented 12 months, that might seem like an exhausting endeavor. To be sure, no one among us has been unaffected by this pandemic. For some of you, that might include losing someone you love, caring for a sick friend or relative, or recovering from COVID-19 yourself. If you have experienced any of those things then my heart goes out to you, and those in your life infected by this virus. And for all of us, this pandemic has exacted a heavy toll on our resiliency and productivity. As a commander, I know firsthand that many of you juggled your professional and family obligations as your usual support structures collapsed. Maybe you came to work every day worried about your children after their daycare facility or school closed. Maybe you are a young Airmen who saw your college plans derailed as universities suspended classes. Maybe you know someone who lost their job or had to close down a family business as the result of the pandemic’s economic impact. Maybe you are among the thousands of Americans who had to postpone or cancel vacations, weddings, or other important celebrations. Or maybe, like me, you are unable to see an elderly parent or grandparent as often as you’d like because they are at higher risk of infection. And, as if that was not enough of a burden to carry, we all watched with sorrow as our great Nation endured a summer of social unrest and an election year marked by sharp political division. Undoubtedly, each of us has suffered from the stress of these events over the past 12 months, along with the isolation that comes with not being able to socialize with family and friends as much as we’re accustomed to doing. And so it is tempting to avoid looking back over the past year. And looking ahead, most of us can think of nothing more than returning to life as we knew it in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that each of us works, socializes, and cares for ourselves. But I urge you to resist those temptations. Because as I look back at 2020, I cannot help but marvel at your unwavering commitment to our Air Force Core Values – Integrity, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. Your dedication, and your accomplishments under great adversity, assure me that this Wing will continue to surmount any and all challenges that might lie ahead in 2021 and beyond. Whatever impact this pandemic has had on your personal lives, each of you rose to the occasion in the finest traditions of the National Guard. You met every obstacle head-on, looked out for your fellow Wingmen, accomplished the mission at hand, and showed yourselves to be shining examples of why this Nation always perseveres -- because the things that bind us as Americans are stronger than those things that divide us and, when the country needs us most, its citizens come together. You did just that. You not only took care of yourselves and your families through these stressful times, but you also came together as National Guardsmen to assist your communities, and defend your country. Many of you stood watch in our streets to protect your fellow citizens in the exercise of their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble, while also ensuring that criminal elements did not seize upon those protests to destroy property or inflict harm. A significant number of you kept the pressure on our adversaries through the uninterrupted performance of the Wing’s Title 10 intelligence missions, often providing continuity to our active duty and intelligence community partners, as they adjusted to operations during a global pandemic. Your analyses were briefed to Combatant Commanders, US Ambassadors, the National Security Council, and the White House. 
Meanwhile, our Cyber Engineering & Installation units ensured critical communications continued to enable global, full-spectrum operations. Dozens of you from across the Wing deployed overseas in support active duty operations worldwide. Separately, other Wing members deployed out of state to provide hurricane relief or to assist the federal government with election security. Closer to home, scores of you stepped up to fight the COVID-19 virus across the Commonwealth, as members of JTF-Minuteman – the largest domestic activation in the history of the Massachusetts National Guard. Citizen-Airmen of the 102nd provided everything from medical care, to the construction of field hospitals, to testing and logistics, and hospital security. 
Back home here at Otis, all five Groups continued to maintain our responsibilities to organize, train, and equip Airmen for a variety of federal and state missions -- often doing so remotely or with minimum manning. Simultaneously, you prepared for – and excelled at -- an Air Combat Command Inspector General midpoint Unit Effectiveness Inspection AND a 16th Air Force Service Cryptologic Component inspection. You maintained the standards that are expected of you as Airmen, remained clear-headed and focused, and presented yourselves to the Governor and the President as ready and capable military forces. And since March, your careful adherence to DoD, State, and Wing rules of engagement regarding mask wear, social distancing, and self-care have allowed the Wing to maintain our mission readiness, and remain safe from widespread infection. So as you reflect on 2020, remember that you have done what few generations before you have been asked to do. You defended freedom at home and abroad, you cared for those in our society who needed it most, and you ensured that this Wing remains ready to meet any challenge. And you did it voluntarily, selflessly, and flawlessly. I am proud to call you my colleagues. And so -- as you look forward to 2021 – I urge you to not waste time dreaming about what your life MIGHT BE when this pandemic finally ends --- and it will end. Focus instead on all you have learned about yourself over the past year and use it to build the life that you want for yourself RIGHT NOW. Because this experience has made you stronger and more resilient than you were less than a year ago. And make no mistake – the federal government and the Commonwealth will undoubtedly continue to call upon the Massachusetts National Guard to respond to crises in the coming year -- whether they be from this virus, our climate, external threats, or the civil unrest that sometimes accompanies social change and the growth of democracy. So, if you can do so safely and within the guidelines set by our Governor and DoD leadership, then take a well-deserved break to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. Develop a self-care plan to recharge your batteries so that you can return in 2021 mentally and physically fit to fight and ready to answer the call, if asked to do so. And remember that, no matter what the coming year holds, the hard part is over. You have demonstrated that you are not only capable of surviving – but also thriving -- under great adversity. Whatever 2021 brings, you’ve got this. Colonel Riley, Chief Dubuc, the other Group commanders, and I are in constant awe of the level of professional excellence that each of you brings to the mission. On behalf of the entire leadership team, thank you for all that you do to make this Wing the best in the Air National Guard. Have a great December drill, and -- in the spirit of whatever beliefs or traditions you may choose to celebrate -- I hope that you have a happy and restful holiday season.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Warrior Airman Podcast for Nov. 19, 2020 - Leadership and Mentorship

      On this episode of the 102 IW Warrior Airman Podcast, Tech. Sgt. Mandy Givens, Master Resiliency Trainer, speaks to Senior Master Sgt. Guy Gottschalk, a member of the 102 IW and former Marine, about his time in the USMC, what brought him to the Air National Guard and his thoughts on leadership and mentorship.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for Nov. 6, 2020 – Master Resiliency Trainer, Tech. Sgt. Mandy Givens

      On this episode of the 102 IW Wellness Podcast, Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks to Tech. Sgt. Mandy Givens, Master Resiliency Trainer and member of the 102 IW, about what led her to become an MRT and her thoughts on resiliency and the role it plays in wellness.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Warrior Airman Podcast for Nov. 6, 2020 – Overactive Mind

      On this first episode of the 102 IW Warrior Airman Podcast, Tech. Sgt. Mandy Givens, Master Resiliency Trainer, speaks to Master Sgt. Matt Davis, a long time member of the 102 IW team, about dealing with overactive mind through mindfulness and the role these things play in an Airman’s wellness.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for October 2020 - Chief Master Sgt. John Dubuc

      I want to talk today about your legacy, what are you doing to make a difference. For you in your life, for the wing, with your family, in your community and in the world. First thing is Thank you all for your service, by serving in the military you are already making a difference, less than 1% of the US Population is serving in the military, you are part of an elite group of volunteers. My challenge to you is what can you do beyond your service to make a difference, what will your legacy be? How can you make a difference? Let’s throw out some ideas. Be a mentor, reach out to a fellow airman or a friend and make a difference in their life. Share your experiences both good and bad and you may just provide something that can be used to change someone’s life. Be a blood or platelet donor if you can. Just to let you know how important blood donation is, did you know that one pint of blood helps four children and it takes less than 30 minutes to donate. Along with becoming a blood donor I want to ask you to pull your license out now and look to see if you have a heart symbol on your license – I do. Have you thought about registering to become an organ donor? Please take time to look at Donate Life’s website for information on Organ Donation, right now there are over 110,000 people waiting for a lifesaving transplant and you could help save one of them. I am not sure if you know this but there are current and former wing members who saved a life by being a living organ donor, this is the most amazing thing to know that our wing members gave the gift of life. While I was deployed to Germany in 2016, my wife Sandra saved a life by donating one of her kidneys anonymously to a child at Children’s Hospital Boston. My family experienced the gift of life when my son Matty received a liver transplant when he was five years old, giving us two more years of making memories with him. Do you volunteer? Look for opportunities to volunteer at the 102nd and in your community. You can make a difference by volunteering and you will also make connections. Volunteerism is an important part of my family makeup allowing us to give back, meet new friends and make a difference in our community. You don’t need to leave your keyboard to volunteer, a great example of this is 102nd Intel Runners Facebook group. What a great idea to provide tips, motivation and connection to your fellow wing members. COVID has changed much of our everyday lives and many folks don’t venture out in order to stay safe. Are you reaching out to your friends and family? We can stay safe and connected at the same time – make a phone call, send a text message – reach out to someone that you have not seen in a while. The last thing that I want to talk about is you. Take care of yourself and make sure you do something for you. Do you want to finish your degree? Sign up for an online class. Did you always want to learn a musical instrument? Buy a used instrument and take lessons (or take a free online lesson.) Join the 102nd Intel Runners Facebook group and become a runner! Do something that makes you happy. Volunteer, reach out, stay connected and make a difference, this is about you!


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for Sep. 29, 2020 – Dr. Jenny D'Olympia

      Ms. Jill Garvin, the psychological health director at the 102nd Intelligence Wing, speaks to Dr. Jenny D'Olympia, PsyD, LMHC. She is the Chair, Counseling and Behavioral Health Department at William James College; Director, MA in Psychology Online Program; and Interim Director, Military and Veterans Psychology Concentration and the Train Vets to Treat Vets Program.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for Sep. 4, 2020 – Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands

      In this episode of the 102 IW Wellness Podcast, Ms. Jill Garvin, the psychological health director at the 102nd Intelligence Wing, and Stephanie Kelly, executive director of the suicide prevention organization The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands, talk about suicide prevention and mental health and the mission of the Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for September 2020 - Col. Timothy Gordon

      102nd Mission Support Group commander, Col. Timothy Gordon, delivers the monthly 102 IW Command Message to the Airmen of Otis Air National Guard Base.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for Aug. 27, 2020 – Dispelling the myths of career impact when seeking mental health help

      On this episode of the 102 IW Wellness Podcast, Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks to Col. Enrique Dovalo, 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group Commander and his wife, Ms. Christi Garner, one of the 102 ISRG’s Key Spouses and a licensed therapist. Together they discuss dispelling the myths around seeking mental health help having a negative impact on one’s career.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Aug. 21, 2020 - A Trifecta of Leadership Changes at the 102 IW

      The 102nd Intelligence Wing welcomed three new unit commanders during a ceremony held on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Taking command of the 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group is Col. Enrique Dovalo; of the 102nd Operations Support Squadron is Lt. Col. Bethann Crouch; and of the 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron is Maj. Sean Andersen. The 102 ISRG change of command was officiated by 102 IW commander, Col. Sean Riley. The 102 OSS and 102 ISS changes of command were officiated by Col. Enrique Dovalo.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for August 2020 - Col. Sean Riley

      102nd Intelligence Wing commander, Col. Sean Riley, delivers the monthly 102 IW Command Message to the Airmen of Otis Air National Guard Base.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Interview for July 24, 2020 - The Wing Resiliency Team

      We're joined by two members of the 102nd Intelligence Wing Resilience Team. We have Ms. Erin Faye, Manager of the Airman and Family Readiness Program and Ms. Jill Garvin, Director of Psychological Health. We talk a little bit about the resiliency team and a survey they have been working on that is about to be released.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Interview for June 25, 2020 - Personal Financial Counseling with Deb Antel

      Deb Antel provides Personal Financial Counseling (PFC) to help wing Airmen and their families manage finances, resolve financial problems and reach long-term goals such as getting an education, buying a home and planning for retirement. We sit down and talk with Deb about the program and the services she offers.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Interview for June 1, 2020 - Talking PTSD with Ms. Jill Garvin

      June is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. In this episode, we sit down with Ms. Jill Garvin, 102nd Intelligence Wing Director of Psychological Health and discuss PTSD, some of the causes, symptoms and some of the treatments that are available.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for June 9, 2020 - 102 IW Change of Command

      There was a formal change of command ceremony of the 102nd Intelligence Wing here on Monday, June 8. Col. Sean D. Riley became the commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, succeeding Col. David V. McNulty, who has served as commander since Nov. 2019.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for June 1, 2020 - Adopting the Family Business

      Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Allen Nancarrow’s career in the profession of arms is rooted deeply in the service of his family. Following in the footsteps of his mother, father, and others, Nancarrow continues to carry the family legacy of service into the 21st century.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for May 19, 2020 - Task Force Raptor

      Soldiers and Airmen from the Massachusetts National Guard who have civilian medical training have been assisting nursing facilities with additional medical care helping the commonwealth’s fight against COVID-19. Activated to serve with Task Force Raptor, these guard members are augmenting skilled nursing facilities across the state.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for May 5, 2020 - PMEL continues calibration for total-force during COVID-19

      Through the course of many weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the various missions of the Air Force continue. One such area that often goes unnoticed is that of the Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory or ‘PMEL’.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for May 4, 2020 - Public Health needed now more than ever

      Public Health Airmen play an important role in the mission of the 102nd Medical Group and during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are needed now... more than ever. Captain Bonnie Blakely spent some time speaking to these professionals about their mission - ensuring the health and welfare of the force.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Apr. 28, 2020 - The show must go on

      The potential for national emergencies such as weather events, earthquakes, or in this case, a global pandemic to create logistical challenges, are significant. It is critical that organizations train and prepare for every contingency to ensure maximum effectiveness during even the most austere of conditions.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Apr. 20, 2020 - Nantucket Security Mission

      In this 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update, hear about how Massachusetts National Guard Airmen and Soldiers are supporting security operations on the island of Nantucket as well as other news from the week.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for Apr. 13, 2020 - Mobile COVID-19 Testing

      Soldiers and Airmen from the Massachusetts National Guard have been working together to complete mobile COVID-19 testing on patients at nursing homes throughout the commonwealth for over a week. In this wing news update, learn how this mission, one of several operations across the commonwealth, is supporting coronavirus response efforts.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Resiliency Shoutout - Apr. 10, 2020

      Some spiritual guidance from Chaplain (Capt.) Derek White, chaplain for the 102nd Intelligence Wing. "Go beyond what you think you can do..." For devotionals and other spiritual guidance, join Chaplain White and the JBCC Chaplain team over at the Joint Base Cape Cod Chapel Facebook page at


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message - Apr. 3, 2020

      Col. David McNulty, 102nd Intelligence Wing commander, addresses the wing and answers some questions during a virtual town hall video, April 2, at Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. The command message includes status of the wing and guidance moving forward in response to the COVID-19 crisis in Massachusetts.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Round Table: Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Apr. 2, 2020

      The 102nd Intelligence Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Team came together for a round table discussion about the wing’s SAPR program. Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Ms. Jackie Tellier hosted the group which included 102nd IW commander, Col. David McNulty; Volunteer Victim Advocate, Master Sgt. Deb Hasley; 102nd MSG First Sergeant, Master Sgt. Salaam Harris; and Alternate SARC, Capt. David Shepard. Please be advised, this round table discussion was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and mandate for social distancing.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing First Sgt. Podcast: Becoming a First Sergeant Mar. 5, 2020

      In this first episode of the 102 IW First Sergeant's Podcast, three current wing First Sergeants and a former, now Chief Master Sergeant discuss their individual paths to the career field and share their experiences each has gotten from this rewarding career field.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Interview with Mr. John Noland, Director of Safety

      The 102nd Intelligence Wing Safety Office recently won the 2019 Air National Guard, Director of Safety Award for Outstanding Achievement in Occupational Safety. We took the opportunity to sit down with Mr. John Noland, Wing Director of Safety, to discuss the award and a little bit about the safety program.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast Jan. 7, 2020

      102nd Intelligence Wing Director of Psychological Health, Ms. Jill Garvin, sits down with two representatives from Heroes In Transition, a not-for-profit organization that recognizes those who have served or who are serving our country, especially in the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) conflicts, by providing appropriate assistance to those with special needs. Their mission is to provide assistance that is not readily available from other organizations including local, state, and federal agencies. Heroes in Transition, Inc. was founded in 2009 in memory of Capt. Eric A. Jones, a Marine helicopter pilot, who lost his life while supporting a combat mission in Afghanistan, October 26, 2009. Sheryll Reichwein has devoted her career to helping others develop skills for their personal and professional success and well-being. For nearly three decades she has been an Adjunct Professor of Communication at Cape Cod Community College. Sheryll’s specialty is interpersonal communications and helping others understand how their thoughts and feelings affect well-being and how to overcome negative effects of stress. Marie Bartram, Director of Holistic Therapies. is in private practice in Sandwich. She has spent the last 30 years counseling, coaching, teaching and advising on the mind body spirit connection. Marie received her Doctorate in Education and Counseling through the American Society of Alternative Therapists. She is a Reiki Master teacher and Energy Practitioner. Marie is passionate about serving the Cape Cod Veteran and Military community and she serves as a transitional counselor for Heroes in Transition.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast Dec. 2, 2019

      102nd Intelligence Wing Director of Psychological Health, Ms. Jill Garvin, speaks to Senior Master Sgt. Donald Kochka about his personal journey in coping with loss. Disclaimer: Some of the topics discussed in this podcast may be upsetting for some listeners.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast 11/14/19

      102nd Intelligence Wing Director of Psychological Health Ms. Jill Garvin speaks to U.S Army combat veteran and Objective Zero co-founder Justin Miller about resiliency, mental health and the rising suicide rates among military members following the resilience tactical pause conducted during the regularly scheduled drill at Otis Air National Guard Base, Mass. Objective Zero, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that anonymously connects veterans to a nationwide network of peer support and wellness resources utilizing mobile app technology. Disclaimer: Some of the topics discussed in this podcast are graphic and disturbing in nature.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast Nov. 5, 2019

      102nd Intelligence Wing Director of Psychological Health, Ms. Jill Garvin, speaks to Kathleen Shine-O’Brien, a licensed mental health counselor with a private practice in Sandwich, Mass. Kathleen is also the behavioral health consultant for the Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands, and Sharing Kindness, a non-profit who's mission is to raise suicide awareness through education, advocacy and prevention and to support survivors of suicide loss and all those who grieve.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Interview with Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Berube

      Tim Sandland of the 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs Office speaks to 102nd Intelligence Wing Chaplain, Lt. Col. David Berube about his experiences in the Air National Guard as he retires following a 21 year career.


    • 102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast 10/2/19

      102nd Intelligence Wing Director of Psychological Health Ms. Jill Garvin speaks to 102nd Intelligence Wing First Sergeant Senior Master Sgt. Sean “Sully” Sullivan about resiliency and the upcoming tactical pause scheduled to address mental health concerns and rising suicide rates among military members.