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Dorm Dweller, Deployer Appreciation Day promotes camaraderie, resiliency

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army service members came together June 14 for a Dorm Dweller and Deployer Appreciation Day here.

A driving factor behind the event was Pacific Air Forces' recently released definition of a PACAF resilient Airman, which included being aware of personal limitations, recognizing at-risk behaviors and being supportive of fellow Airmen and their families.

Senior Master Sgt. Rena Banes, 36th Maintenance Group first sergeant, stressed the importance of morale days to promote resiliency, especially among junior enlisted members.

"How do we become resilient or how do we bounce back?" Banes said. "In these events, Airmen get to network and meet people they can turn to if they're ever in a situation where they will need someone's help, especially in situations involving alcohol. We all know when people have alcohol in their systems they don't always make the best decisions."

The event, funded by the 36th Wing Chapel and hosted by the 36th Maintenance Group, included a series of island-themed performances and games. Team Andersen members living on base also prepared entrées to add to the two roasted pigs and barbeque provided by the chapel.

"We took the event one step further and extended it to the deployed Army and Navy here," said Tech. Sgt. Richard Crossley, 36th Maintenance Squadron Programs Flight chief. "They're stationed here with us and are part of our Andersen family, so we're not going to treat them any differently from our Airmen."

The day's festivities included a flag football tournament, open use of the base pool, a giant slip and slide, corn-hole toss, ladder golf, hula dance performances, K-9 demonstrations, and a first sergeant and commander dunk tank.

Smiles and laughs abound as junior enlisted and NCOs from different branches watched performances and participated in activities.

"If you spend time with people you know and understand, you are more likely to protect your own group like a sheepdog protecting its flock," Crossley said. "These events allow Airmen to get to know the people around them, allowing them to easily recognize when another person is in a questionable situation and be more likely to intervene. This builds unit cohesion which is important because, at the end of the day, we are all in one team."

Banes said Airmen can expect more events like this in the future and that the event organizers were thankful for everyone who participated and helped make the event a success.

"With sequestration, it's all about funding," Banes said. "There are other alternatives, other base organizations that can help donate money if we want to come together again and extend our appreciation. I think coming out here as leaders, with all the other first sergeants and commanders, show the Airmen how much we care."

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