by Senior Airman Brittain Crolley
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/7/2015 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Every
day brings new challenges for our Airmen, whether it's in the form of
an upcoming deployment that will take them away from their family, or a
hurdle at work they must overcome. Fortunately, they continue to find a
way to handle this adversity through training, teamwork and wingmanship,
all for the sake of progressing the mission.
However, these Airmen are not the only ones fighting the good fight.
While they are busy working 12-hour shifts, on remote TDY, or deployed,
their families stay steadfast at home. They too have their own adversity
to deal with, but aren't necessarily provided the same training as
their service members to teach them how weather difficult situations.
To help arm these family members, especially children, with the life
skills needed to battle unforeseen obstacles, the base youth center
partnered with Make It Better leaders and master resilience trainers to
create the Make It Better 4 Teens program.
"We teach these [resilience] skills to our Airmen, teaching them how to
cope," said Tech. Sgt. Stan Williams, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron
jet engine mechanic and assistant MIB4T coordinator. "Well think about
it, what if we started teaching those skills at a younger age to our
children, so when they experience adversity they'll have some of the
skills to be able to cope?"
The MIB4T team ventured out to answer that question by holding a
weeklong Youth Resilience Camp Aug. 3-7 at the youth center to teach
teens these valuable skills and how to live a more resilient lifestyle.
Throughout the week, children participated in a variety of events
testing their mental, physical, spiritual and social resilience,
identical to the Comprehensive Airman Fitness program. From challenging
memory tasks to learning how to fly a kite, the group used teamwork,
problem solving and other life skills to accomplish tasks.
"My favorite part was the mental games," said Hunter, a camp
participant. "I know it will help me with school and memorizing stuff
With the success of the foundational camp, the MIB4T leaders said they
hope to push the program curriculum forward to continue making a bigger
impact in the lives of military children. Williams said they plan to
conduct more events like this when children are out of school and during
holiday breaks, with an ultimate goal of pushing the program Air
"These skills work," Williams exclaimed. "They basically saved my life
and I think it's important that we pass these skills down to our younger
kids so that maybe it'll help save someone else's life."
At the conclusion of the camp, the MIB4T team believed they made a
lasting impact on the children who participated and set them up for a
"These young people are literally youth wingmen," said Richard Lambert,
4th Fighter Wing community support coordinator. "They're wingmen to one
another, wingmen to their families and wingmen to the community. They
are our future leaders of tomorrow and we need to make sure they have
the skills to succeed in the face of adversity."