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Resiliency training offered virtually for AMC spouses

a online meeting with people

Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing and installation commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Justin Strain, 19th Airlift Wing command chief, speak to spouses before a virtual resiliency training session at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, May 6, 2020. Little Rock Air Force Base is participating in a command-wide initiative to provide support for families by hosting an eight-week virtual spouse resiliency training — every Wednesday at 3 p.m. CST — for spouses at any Air Mobility Command base.

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Being resilient is having the ability to successfully manage challenges and to learn and grow from the process of overcoming them. Currently the novel COVID-19 has created challenges for everyone, with families trying to adjust to life changes for every individual in their household.

These difficulties can be tackled by using healthy, effective ways to cope.

Little Rock Air Force Base is participating in a command-wide initiative to provide support for families by hosting an eight-week virtual spouse resiliency training — every Wednesday at 3 p.m. CST — for spouses at any Air Mobility Command base.

“This is an effort to talk about something that’s incredibly important to all of us,” said Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing and installation commander. “There’s not a more appropriate time to focus in on resiliency and making sure our spouses, families and Airmen have the resiliency they need as we battle feelings of isolation, stress and all of the things that everyone is collectively dealing with right now as we try to figure out our new normal.”

Each week, one of the following topics will be discussed:

-              Introduction to resilience                                                              - Reframe/balance your thinking              

-              Gratitude                                                                                      - Celebrate good news

-              Value based goals                                                                        - Mindfulness

-              Bring your strength                                                                       - Physical resilience

“Resilience training is important for our Airmen and their family members,” said Stephanie Wynn, 19th Airlift Wing community support coordinator. “The definition of resilience is the ability to withstand, recover or grow in the face of stressors and changing demands. That defines what our military family members face every day and even more so during this time of COVID-19.  Our spouses are tremendously important to the strength of our force.” 

The creation of the virtual training sessions were primarily designed to support spouses dealing with the added stressors stemming from COVID-19, including changes in work, guidance for social distancing and lack of childcare. 

“It is important during this time to be as resilient as we possibly can,” Wynn said. “Giving spouses the tools to enhance their and their family’s skills is key during this time.  We want to meet people where they are, and right now, due to restrictions and social distancing, the virtual option was best.”

According to Wynn, AMC community support coordinators are working this initiative as a team.

“An invitation to the sessions we are hosting is open to any spouse on an AMC base, as are the sessions offered by MacDill Air Force Base,” Wynn said. “We wouldn’t be able to offer this across the command if the classes were in-person.”

The virtual resiliency training also provides a chance to connect and communicate with other spouses going through similar challenges. Unit key spouses and mentors are continuously reaching out to families for feedback on what would better aid them during the on-going situation.

“The unit key spouses and mentors have played an active role in contacting families and addressing family specific challenges, especially during times of deployment,” said Kimberly Euton, 19th Airlift Wing work life specialist. “I am extremely impressed with the amount of encouragement these teams have displayed and the creativity in keeping their families connected.”

For more information or to join the virtual training, e-mail Stephanie Wynn at stephanie.wynn@us.af.mil or text (501) 831-9998.

Wynn encourages spouses to also use the “Air Force Spouse Resilience Toolkit” released by Headquarters Air Force, which gives spouses additional resources that complement the spouse resilience training.

To access the toolkit, visit http://spousert.wpengine.com.