HomeUnits380th Air Expeditionary WingNewsDisplay

(Part 5) In their words: Deployed Airmen enduring the holidays

Staff Sgt. Juan, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing chaplain assistant, participates in a resiliency project at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Nov. 29, 2016. Deployed Airmen were asked questions regarding resilience through the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)

Staff Sgt. Juan, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing chaplain assistant, participates in a resiliency project at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, Nov. 29, 2016. Deployed Airmen were asked questions regarding resilience through the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tyler Woodward)

SOUTHWEST ASIA --

The following is a transcription of an interview with Staff Sgt. Juan, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing chaplain assistant, which was recorded Nov. 28, 2016. This series of Questions and Answers is based on how deployed members stay resilient while away from home during the holidays.

Why did you decide to join the USAF?

Juan: Well I had previously served both in the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army before enlisting into the Air Force.  I could not get rid of the military bug and a part of me wanted to get back into the service.  I spoke to my wife and prayed and decided to enlist again.

What do you hope to get out of this deployment? 

Juan: I hope to get a better practical understanding of what it’s like to be a Chaplain Assistant in a deployed environment. I also hope to mature in such a way as to return with a better perspective to serve others.

What do you do in your free time to help time pass while deployed?

Juan: Work out, watch movies, read my Bible, pray and sleep.

What’s the hardest thing about being away from family/friends during the holidays?

Juan: Not being able to hold my wife and children and share those special moments together.

What does resiliency mean to you?

Juan:  To reach inside myself to find that special part of me that allows me to see my circumstance in a positive way and not lose myself in the situation regardless of how dark it might seem. To me, my Christian faith is the rock I lean on especially in the hard times to endure and overcome.

If you could tell someone one thing to that would help them stay resilient through holidays what would it be?

Juan:  It’s okay to need help to seek advice and to say “I am sad today.” There is a stigma with those persons who show emotions other than anger and laughter but there is nothing wrong with the not-so-pretty sides of our emotions. Just learn to seek help and be willing to do your part to get better in whatever the situation might be.