Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Airmen get to fly…inside

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault) DENVER, Colo. – Senior Airman JoJuan Green, 21st Operations Support Squadron weapons and tactics, flies in the wind tunnel at IFly Indoor Skydiving during a Peterson Chapel retreat, June 19, 2015. Peterson leadership picked their top performers to participate in a day retreat to indoor skydive, eat lunch and discuss the stress of military life and resources available.

By Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  —  The Chapel hosted a retreat for 25 top performing Airmen, picked by leadership, to go to IFly World for the day on June, 19.

Before loading on to the bus for their day of adventures, Chief Master Sgt. Idalia Peele, 21st Space Wing command chief and Chaplain (Maj.) Matthew Boarts, 21st SW wing chaplain, wished everyone a fun time and reminded them that they are the best of the best.

Led by Chaplain (Capt.) Joshua Flynn and Staff Sgt. Benjamin Roa, chaplain assistant, the group of Airmen got to participate in indoor skydiving for a total of three minutes.

Collectively, the group agreed they were a little nervous, but excited to fly. The instructors took their turn first and made it look easy. When it was time for the Airmen to try, the results varied. Some Airmen curled up in a ball, some wouldn’t relax and some were naturals. But no matter how well they did, the instructor was always there for support, like there will always be for Airmen, no matter what rank, to go to for help or counsel.

After the flying, the Chapel hosted an open dialogue on the daily stress of life and the resources available for counsel and advice. Maj. Maureen Kimsey, 21st Medical Group, mental health element chief, also joined the group for some fun and inspirational words.

“What I liked about the whole trip was the little bit at the end after the skydiving; the trip was advertised as a fun day and then they brought in Chaplain Flynn to lead a conversation about how stressed we could be and some encouraging words for us to think of,” said Senior Airman Jae Yu, 21st Aerospace Medical Squadron operational physiology administration. “They even brought Maj Kimsey from mental health, which was nice touch; the trip showed how much leadership cares about us and showed more of a mushy side of them.”

Being the “1%” of Americans to take the oath in protecting America, life is stressful, especially when an Airman is excelling in their career field. Sometimes it seems like when an Airman is excelling, leadership will put more pressure on them to continue to excel with no room to make mistakes. Kimsey, Flynn and Roa recognized that pressure and talked about the importance of having a support system to help cope with the stress whether it is through religion, friends, family and/or military family.

“To me, being picked by my leadership meant that they acknowledged the work I put in to get things done,” said Yu, “ I felt like they understood what could possibly go through our minds and planned preventive measures to keep us motivated.”

Excelling in the workplace not only comes with more stress but also comes with mentoring opportunities. Airmen will tend to look up to others who are exceeding. These programs are available not only for the excelling Airman but also for them to take everything they learned back to their units to share with coworkers. The majority of an Airman’s time is spent at the workplace with other Airmen who ultimately become a support system or part of their military family, said Flynn.

After arming the Airmen with resources, Flynn ended the group conversation with a quote from Steven Spielberg:

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”

For more information on upcoming events, questions or concerns please contact the Chapel at DSN 556-4442.

To Top