By Airman 1st Class Justin Andras, 110th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 15, 2014
Developed in late 2012, the Airman-2-Airman program was designed to provide a peer support network of Airmen led by other Airmen where they could go to receive support with a multitude of issues.
"We wanted to develop a total package program for not only mental health but also physical, spiritual, and social health acting as the centerpiece of the wing and a source for all wellness resources on the base," said Mr. David Marshall, the Wing Director of Psychological Health. "We want to have a finger on the pulse of multiple areas of the wing.
Marshall brought the idea to Col. Ronald Wilson, the 110th Airlift Wing Commander, who offered his complete support. The goal was to develop the program into a dynamic, vibrant, and expansive resource for the Airmen of the 110th.
"We use this program to take care of our family here in the military," said Wilson. "Whether an individual is old or young, senior or junior member, we will collectively assist them spiritually, mentally, and financially."
The program leadership group consists of six members of the wing whom are responsible for producing ideas on how to improve trouble areas for Airmen of the wing. One recently discussed campaign addressed methods to assist Airmen in improving their fitness assessment scores. Stress and other factors have been known to contribute to poor health and physical condition.
"Stress has a direct impact on health, wellness, and motivation," said Marshall who has witnesses several stress-related fitness test failures. "Stress hormones are in direct violation of someone attempting to be physically fit. They decrease metabolism and impact the abilities to sleep and regenerate muscle."
To combat this, the Airman-2-Airman program hopes to give Airmen the opportunity to succeed by helping them gain control of the problem areas in their lives such as employment, relationship, financial, and physical fitness issues. The group is also working to organize a weekly Bible study for interested members
"Spirituality plays a part in a person's total well-being," said Marshall.
Additional ideas continue to add to the positive resources available for the numerous members of the base.
"We have discussed ideas such as hosting a bake sale to raise money for purpose of bringing in guest speakers and massage therapists," said Master Sgt. Angela Jameson, current member of the group. "Other ideas include a self-help line for 24-hour assistance and a Sunday coffee club."
The idea of a coffee club was originally devised by Col. Billie Faust, retired former Vice-Commander of the 110th Airlift Wing. The idea was to have an informal setting where people could talk about issues
The Airman-2-Airman program is open to every member of the base, with no regard to rank, allowing anyone from the Wing Commander to an Airman Basic is allowed to attend. Individuals interested in attending program meetings, joining the leadership team, or with questions should contact Mr. David Marshall via phone at 269-969-3309 or through email at email@example.com.