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Virtual Wingman Day

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christina Russo
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

During the June 2020 Unit Training Assembly, Airmen from Youngstown Air Reserve Station participated in a virtual Wingman Day. Wingman Day is designed to boost morale and resiliency. Due to public health circumstances, Airmen participated in this year’s event from the safety of their homes.

Typically at YARS, Wingman Day would kick off with a wing commander’s call. A guest speaker would cover a specific topic before each squadron departed for their specific team-building activities. Even though Airmen were unable to come together to boost morale and resiliency, that did not stop them from finding a way of connecting with one another.

The topic of this year’s Wingman Day was post-traumatic growth and stressful situations. Members of the public affairs office and installation helping agencies put together a virtual commander’s call and Wingman Day video where wing leadership and staff spoke about current circumstances facing Airmen today and stressed the importance of being there for each other.

“How we bounce back is called resiliency,” said Col. Joe Janik, commander of the 910th Airlift Wing. “Just know that you are not alone in all of this.”

The guest speaker this year was Duane France, director of veteran services at Family Care Center, LLC in Colorado. France retired from the U.S. Army in 2014 after 22 years of service. During his virtual presentation to the Airmen of YARS he spoke about resiliency and what kind of response individuals have during a crisis.

“Are you a tennis ball or are you an egg,” said France. “Are you going to bounce or are you going to break.”

The topic was consistent with the times as a response to what Airmen across the nation are facing today.

“We know there are reservists out there who are struggling,” said Janik. “Whether it’s because of this pandemic or even before that. I just want to make sure that you (Airmen) realize there's a whole list of folks that are on the wing staff and part of the 910th that their only job is to be here for you and to help you.”

Although Wingman Day was not conducted in person this year, Airmen from the installation were still given the necessary resources to boost morale and strengthen their resiliency in order for them to remain “combat ready NOW...for tomorrow’s fight!”