Wingman day provides tools for success



by Donovan Jackson
Air University Public Affairs


4/26/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- The 42nd Air Base Wing held its annual Wingman and Safety Day April 18, and this year's agenda focused on how to utilize military resources to succeed.

Topics addressed at the event included the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, physical fitness, Heart Link spouse orientation, Strength for Spouses and Leadership Pathways.

"Asking for help when you need it is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength," said Col. Trent Edwards, wing commander. "It takes more courage to ask for help when you need it, then it does to sit back and try to fix it yourself. There are helping agencies here at Maxwell that want to see everyone succeed, and by utilizing the agencies that are here to help, we will always remain mission ready."

The Airmen Helping Airmen Forum kicked off the event by performing skits that addressed some of the social concerns that coincide with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. The skits tackled sexual assault, sexual harassment, suicide and alcoholism.

"Wingman Day is about taking care of Airmen and Airmen helping Airmen," said Capt. Denisha Darcus, the deputy sexual assault response coordinator. "The images portrayed in the skits are situations that have happened to Airmen before, and we want you to know what preventative actions to take if you were to witness a situation like the ones portrayed today."

Eleanor Pittman, exercise physiologist at the Health and Wellness Center, told the audience that sleeping up to eight hours a day, eating healthy and exercising regularly were the basic factors in helping an Airman remain physically fit and mission ready.

Pittman's briefing was followed by a short Zumba exercise, with a Zumba instructor and six student participants.

Other topics addressed during the event included a Heart Link brief by Kathi Byrd, information and referral consultant with the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, and a Strength for Spouses briefing by Andrew Tveit, family readiness program director at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. Lastly, Master Sgt. Jennifer Hellwig, instructor for the Air Force First Sergeant Academy, provided an introduction to Leadership Pathways.

"Leadership Pathways helps you to become a stronger, more resilient, person, leader and mentor," said Hellwig.

A few members of the audience gave testimonials explaining how Air Force programs helped them to triumph over adversity.

After the briefings, Edwards thanked everyone for coming to the event and left the audience with a few words of encouragement before departure.

"Life is a marathon, it is not a sprint. I am always amazed at the people who are disappointed about the results they did not achieve based on the work they did not put in," he said. "Do the work, put in the time and let's continue to make this installation the best hometown in the Air Force."