Resilience workshop held at local high school for 167th Airlift Wing members and family

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
  • 167th Airlift Wing

Airmen from the 167th Airlift Wing attended the Brothers at War Resiliency Workshop hosted at the Martinsburg High School, Martinsburg, West Virginia, Sept. 11, 2022.

The workshop was hosted during the 167th Airlift Wing’s Base Resilience day with the purpose of assisting Airmen to develop post-deployment reintegration techniques and educating their families on what service members experience while deployed.

 The Brothers at War Resiliency Workshop is a program sponsored by the Gary Sinise Foundation. Sinise was the executive producer of the Brothers at War documentary. The documentary focuses on Jake Rademacher, the film’s director, and his deployed U.S. Army soldier brothers. It is used for resilience training, as a way for families to relate to the trials of their service members.

Sherry Lewis, the 167th Airman and Family Readiness Program manager, requested the event be put on for the base due to an increased rate of operations over the past two years. She explained that the event would be beneficial to the large number of Airmen returning from  active duty assignments or deployments, both stateside and overseas.

 “I see first-hand the stress and struggles our National Guard service members experience,” said Lewis. “And they don’t have all of the resources available to them and their families, like those living on and working at an active duty base.”

Lt. Col. Nathan Graeser, a Chaplain with the California Army National Guard and social worker, facilitated the event. Graeser led the activities during the workshop, served as an instructor for the classroom portions of the event and fostered an open atmosphere for service members to share their personal experiences.

Airmen who attended the event watched the Brothers at War documentary to provide a starting point for an instructed event workbook session. The Airmen and their families also participated in other activities, including guided journaling, discussions about deployments and group activities.

Senior Master Sgt. Jacki Weddle, the 167th Mission Support Group First Sergeant, attended the workshop. She said that the event exceeded her expectations, and the time spent speaking with other service members about their time deployed was interactive, thought provoking and emotional.

“It was encouraging to hear what other service members and family members have went through, and it seemed everyone could relate to each other,” said Weddle. “We may not discuss our trials and tribulations on a regular basis, but to be able to know that you aren’t alone, I can only hope, helped others.”