Airmen share stories to inspire others

by Staff Sgt. Sergio A. Gamboa
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Fighter Wing and 694th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group chapel teams held a Storytellers event to demonstrate Airmen, soldiers, civilians and family members that resiliency comes in many ways.

Storytellers was created to encourage Airmen to share stories, get their experiences out in the open and to watch them change lives.

The event gathered Team Osan members from different backgrounds, shared their stories, and demonstrated how they overcame adversity.

“It’s inspirational to hear people tell their stories and know how they were able to overcome anything,” said Capt. Jennifer Ray, a chaplain with the 51st FW. “We want the audience to see it is not so scary to tell their story or ask for help.”

The presenters talked about overcoming domestic violence, addictions, depression, suicidal thoughts and other hardships by reaching out to others and surrounding themselves with support.

“I really enjoyed the event,” said Senior Airman Taz Smith, a budget analyst with the 51st Comptroller Squadron. “I definitely felt like these were touching, emotional and relative stories that anybody could relate to.”

Ray expressed that sharing stories exemplifies trials, issues and challenges you go through no longer have power over you, but empower you to empower others.

The event was set up to inspire and learn from others and to make a difference in a wingman’s life or encourage them to seek for help.

“Although we [chapel team] come from a faith background, our conversations don’t have to be about religion,” said Ray. “Most people come to us to talk about life and how to overcome, and we are veterans in that. You have a friend in the chaplain.”

If you or someone you know at Osan would like to speak to a chaplain, call 784-5000.

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