Resilience, routine keeps TMO NCO centered

  • Published
  • By Story by Tech. Sgt. Chelsea E. FitzPatrick
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates-- Tech. Sgt. Julia Juvera-Silvain, non-commissioned officer in charge of the 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron’s transportation management office, runs a shop that plays a critical role in the American military presence overseas. Shipping everything from personnel, household goods, to inbound and outbound cargo, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the outbound cargo section of the transportation management office.

“I fill in wherever I’m needed, so today I’m helping out with cargo that needs to be escorted on base… somedays I’ll be out packing with the team,” Juvera-Silvain, a reservist with the 944th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, said. “We are the center of who’s getting what at what times and when.”

            Being the center of the action has its benefits, giving Juvera-Silvain and her team members the chance to interact with different branches and work cultures.

            “I love that we build strong ties with supply and we’re able to work with civilian and uniformed personnel from other branches of the military as well,” Juvera-Silvain said. “I’m a huge fan of networking… I love meeting people and talking to people, so here we get to sample everything.”

            Juvera-Silvain deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar in 2018 and says one of the key differences between her two deployment experiences has been her leadership.

            “I think I’m really fortunate to have leaders here that care a lot, our superintendent and our first lieutenant come regularly to check on us,” she said. “On my last deployment, I didn’t have it so nice.”

            Halfway through her six-month tour, Juvera-Silvain, a mother of two, knows staying resilient is important. She’s equipped herself with a cache of self-care and resiliency practices she routinely follows. Every day she exercises and every week she has video calls home to her family, including a 20-year old son currently in Air Force basic military training, as well as her mentor back home.

            “You know, just being able to vent, I think that’s really important and to vent to somebody who’s on the outside, I call it therapy,” she said.

            Juvera-Silvain also regularly reminds herself of what she can and cannot control.

“I remind myself that you can’t change everybody, so those little things you either accept and work around it and try not to take anything to hear,” she said. “Talk to somebody outside your work center who can help you see the bigger picture and realize, you’re not alone.