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Airmen discover power in resiliency

MADISON, Wis. -- In a day that saw Airmen cry, laugh and be inspired, there was an overall theme that rose above it all - resiliency.

Nearly the entire 115th Fighter Wing - encompassing more than 1,000 Airmen - assembled into a Truax Field aircraft hangar as part of Wingman Day 2012.

Col. Jeffrey Wiegand, 115th FW commander, began the presentation by asking Airmen, "What does Wingman Day really mean?"

After allowing them to think for a moment, he pointed out providing support for each other was just the beginning. Wingman Day is about teaching Airmen how to create positive work environments, to provide training and resources for Airmen and their families, and to teach each other to have a proper balance for everyday activities they juggle.

The coordinator of the event, Chief of Safety Maj. Joseph Walter, challenged attendees to make an investment in themselves.

"Look at yourself in the mirror and know you did your best," Walter said.

According to Walter, making positive changes is difficult because it causes pain. Think about those who spend a lot of time in the gym. If they were lifting weights that didn't cause any pain, would they see any results?

Airmen benefit because they don't need to go through that pain by themselves. Wingmen are all around base, willing to help. By using a lemon, sugar, water, a pitcher and ice cubes, guest speaker Army Staff Sgt. Dana Cowell, made this point very clear.

"When life hands you lemons, turn to your wingmen for the resources you'll need to make lemonade," Cowell said.

Airmen and their family members in attendance received a small booklet full of resources they can use. Those who did not receive their own copy can visit www.115fw.ang.af.mil/resources for the information.

According to Walter, putting the event together involved numerous people and organizations around base and he is thankful to everyone for their help and support.

"Pulling off the event was truly a team effort," he said. "Have faith in every member of your team. Make a calculated investment in your people. Challenge Airmen to make an investment in themselves."
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