An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

380AEW Article

Mind and Body: A total health treatment to overcoming trauma

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Lou Burton
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing

The mind is a powerful tool. It is the hub for controlling the body and the catalyst for creating thoughts, beliefs and reality. For many, the challenge becomes understanding the difference between the implication of thoughts and the reality they represent.

For Tech. Sgt. Flordeliza Sia, 380th Medical Group pharmacy technician, her journey of connecting the truth to her thoughts started a few years ago before her third deployment, which was her first to Al Dhafra Air Base.

“At that point in my life, I felt like I didn’t have self-esteem,” Sia explains. “I dealt with stress and unhappiness through food.”

The 19 year veteran describes that at that time of her life she was going through a difficult personal relationship and was feeling the effects of the traumatic experiences associated with it.

“I blamed my relationship problems on my body image. I thought my physical self was the cause of the issues I was facing,” said Sia. “While looking for other ways to make myself happy, I decided to get a personal trainer.”

Using physical fitness to focus on the present and the controllable aspects of life is a healthy mechanism for practicing intentional thought, explains Capt. Chase Aycock, 380th clinical psychologist.

 “When someone focuses on the past or future, he or she is more likely to experience strong negative emotions, because it is easy to get caught up on what happened or what could happen,” said Aycock. “Physical activity can help individuals focus on the present.”

This focus on fitness lead Sia to expand her social circle and join a fitness team who shared worked out routines, provided motivation and shared healthy eating habits.

“I learned about mind muscle connection,” said Sia. “During my workouts I concentrate on the targeted muscle I am working on and put all of my focus into that exercise and its movements.”

The group also provided a sense of support as well.

“I am still close to some of these women today. They became my support system and some of them where going through a similar situation,” said Sia.

“No one should go through a traumatic experience alone,” said 1st Lt. Christine Rodriguez, 380th sexual assault response coordinator.

Having a support system to talk through experiences and process emotions is crucial for healing.

“Part of the healing process after experiencing a traumatic event is being able to process what happened, the emotions felt and being able to look at the whole situation objectively,” said  Lt. Col. Rick Bach, 380th Wing Chaplain.

While utilizing her support system and maintaining a dedication to physical fitness, Sia was able to lose 15 pounds.

“Spiritual and emotional fitness are tied to your physical well-being,” said Bach.

After finding success in her physical fitness journey, Sia deployed for the first time to Al Dhafra Air Base.

“I am grateful for the deployment. It helped me look at my situation and reflect. That deployment allowed me to save money and financially free myself from the situation I was in at home,” said Sia.

After her journey, Sia has one crucial piece of advice for someone going through a tough situation.

“Talk,” said Sia. “The first few years no one knew what I was going through. I would not talk about it because I didn’t think people would understand and I was embarrassed about my situation.  I thought, talking about it would also make it real.”

But the consequences of her silence played a real role on her emotional and physical health.

Talking to her support group, family and friends helped, she explained.

“Once I started talking, it became real,” said Sia. “It was a big relief.  That was when I started the process of healing.”

380th Support Services

For Airmen going through traumatic or difficult experiences, the 380th AEW has a variety of options for support. From mental health, chaplain services and SARC, there are dedicated professionals available to help.

Mental Health

“The first step for seeking help is checking in with yourself and leaning on those you can trust,” said Aycock.

The mental health office provides classes on sleep enhancement, stress management and tobacco cessation which are considered medical appointments, not mental health. They also provide counseling services based on individual needs under either medical or mental health depending on the situation.

For those concerned on how meeting with mental health may affect their career, Aycock explained he always has an open discussion about this prior to beginning treatment.

“Prior to any session, I speak with the member and layout what confidentiality is available to them so that they can make an educated decision on how to proceed,” said Aycock.

Mental health is open Mon- Fri 0800 to 1600 and Sun 0800 to 1200 and can be reached at DSN 484-7072.

Members can also utilize a confidential crisis response hotline at 1-800-273-8255.


“I am a pastor for anyone seeking religion, but I am a chaplain for everyone. I am here to help,” said Lt. Col. Gabriel Casciato, 380th Chaplain.

The 380th Chapel offers lessons on spiritual resiliency, religious observances, bible study, worship services, financial health classes and pastoral counseling.

“We lend a compassionate ear that is 100 percent confidential,” said Bach.

“It’s not just the Chaplains available to assist,” said Casciato. “If Airmen are more comfortable talking to someone enlisted, the chapels religious affairs Airmen are trained in crisis intervention and spiritual triage. They have the same level of confidentiality, but do not offer counseling.”

The chapel staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be reached at DSN  484-6357.


“Going to the SARC doesn’t mean you have to make a report at all,” said Rodriguez. “It is a safe place to ask questions, connect to support services and make a plan on how to move forward.”

The 380th Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office advocates for victims and works diligently to educate the base populace, raise awareness and collaborate with outside agencies for support services.

Volunteer Victim Advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be reached at DSN  434-7272.

Members can also utilize a confidential DoD Safe Helpline at 1-877-995-5247 or can chat with trained staff that provide confidential crisis support at