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Team Shaw attends resiliency workshop

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Katie Connelly
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Team Shaw members attended a resiliency workshop at the Carolina Skies Club and Conference Center, Nov. 21.

Jake Rademacher, director of the “Brothers at War” documentary and creator of the resiliency workshop, designed the event to help military families process the difficulties of deployment.

“We’ve been in conflict for almost two decades and it’s put an incredible strain on our military families,” said Rademacher. “I think it’s very important to understand how to process those experiences and try to grow from them.

If you do that, those experiences can give you a deeper empathy for other people. If you don’t, it just gets worse.”

Throughout the workshop, attendees watched a documentary about the experience and sacrifices made overseas. They also wrote about their personal experiences during deployments and readjustment periods.

“Journaling is something that helped me when I came back from overseas, and talking to my brother who gave me insight into what to expect,” said Rademacher.

Due to the progress he made through journaling, Rademacher wanted to highlight the introspective technique with others who may not be as willing to share their problems.

“Service members have a tendency to suppress their feelings and just carry on with the mission …” said Rademacher. “What they found is when you get home it’s really important to start communicating about whatever is going on.”

Rademacher said service members can lower stress by sharing their inner truth with loved ones and gaining insight from others.

“They’ve done studies on why two different people who go through horrible life events,” said Rademacher, “why one has the wheels fall off of their life and for the other it’s a setback, it’s painful, it’s hard but they get through it and a few years later they’re starting to grow from it … it’s resilience.”

Senior Master Sgt. Tanya Wyatt, 20th Fighter Wing Equal Opportunity superintendent, attended the workshop to better serve Airmen as a helping agency leader and to expand her own resiliency toolkit.

“Resiliency is like self-aid buddy care,” said Wyatt. “Back in the day we practiced self-aid buddy care and if we didn’t practice, we would only remember the basics.”

Although military families often face uncommon circumstances, Rademacher stressed the importance of looking for a silver lining through post-traumatic growth.

“Post-traumatic growth is the idea that the toughest experience you ever go through in life can actually be an opportunity for growth if you process it properly,” said Rademacher.

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from adversity. By working on individual resiliency through communication and journaling, Team Shaw members can create opportunities to truly connect.