War on Terrorism

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Airmen remember 9/11, remain resilient

by Airman Larissa Greatwood
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

9/16/2014 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- On Sept. 11, the 86th Airlift Wing participated in a Resilience Day to build camaraderie between units.

The event was executed in a sports day fashion which included tricycle races, a hula-hoop contest and volleyball, basketball, bowling and dodgeball tournaments.

Jan Devitt, 86th AW community support coordinator, said having the opportunity to get out of the office, get some exercise and meet new people has been well received by Airmen with each Resilience Day.

"This year's Commander's Challenge, also known as Resilience Day, was a huge success thanks to all of the volunteers and patience by all the participants," said Tech. Sgt. Ronald West, 786th Force Support Squadron NCO in charge of fitness. "No matter where I walked throughout the day all I saw was good camaraderie and competiveness between the units. I truly felt folks were happy and having a great time away from the office."

The 86th Dental Squadron was awarded the Commander's Challenge trophy for having the greatest number of cumulative points from all the events.

With 9/11 being a significantly tragic day in American history, the commemorative day was planned in accordance to remind us why all the aspects of health are crucial to not only ourselves but also to the mission.

"Having the Resilience Day on 9/11 could not have been a better day," West said. "That horrific day will never be forgotten, and I felt having the Resilience Day on 9/11 was a good way to celebrate the lives of all the military and civilian folks who have been affected in one way or another. Many lives were lost that day and for many years after in defense against terrorism.

"Having days like this truly helps units come together and not lose sight of the big picture," he continued. "We are all a part of something bigger than us, and we all play a huge part in the mission success of the Air Force and the continued freedom of America."

With Ramstein having more than 57,000 Airmen, days like these give them the chance to meet each other.

"Ramstein is a high ops tempo base, and I think we get pretty busy with work and kind of forget we're like family here," Devitt said. "I like to see people having fun; that's why we do it, though it might be stressful at times. I was hired to serve, so I wanted our Airmen to have fun, get outside, meet people outside their unit and eat a free hamburger."

With fitness being a top priority in the military, this type of event offers different aspects of resilience than core groups, or squadrons getting together to talk, might.

"Resilience Day is to strengthen the four pillars of a person; social, mental, physical and spiritual," said Devitt. "It's for Airmen to mix with other Airmen, to talk and form teams for healthy competition.

"I think it brings us closer together; that's my hope anyway," she continued. "I love how during resilience days there are a lot of people who show up; they talk and have a great time. That's what it's all about."

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