Osan Storytellers show other side of Airmen’s lives

by Senior Airman Dillian Bamman, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Stripes Korea

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airmen from across the base gathered at the Mustang Center to hear the stories of their fellow Airmen for during an Osan Storytellers event Oct. 26, here.

The Osan Junior Enlisted Council and First Sergeant Association hosted the quarterly event to highlight the stories of resiliency and difficulty Airmen face.

“Osan Storytellers is based upon the concept that every Airman has a story,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt.  Jesse Reed, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron first sergeant. “These stories are shared in hopes that the Airmen of Osan can relate and be inspired.”

Six speakers opened up to the audience with personal stories such as losing a family member, enduring a first PCS and a diagnosis of breast cancer.

“It’s important because new Airmen coming into the Air Force often don’t know the struggles being faced by the everyday Airman, like EPRs, supervision and general military life,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alex Baer, 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron individual protective equipment journeyman. “This is an avenue to hear these personal accounts and to get them thinking about these issues to better our Air Force.”

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Patrick Odom, 7th Air Force first sergeant, shared his story titled “Off to a Bad Start,” highlighting his journey of growing into a SNCO and first sergeant.

“This isn’t about me, but how I can help others through my story,” said Odom. “It’s an honor and privilege to give back to the Airmen here. I want people to go into their own mindset and help themselves in some way. We all have our own struggles, but as an Air Force, we are all a family that takes care of one another.”

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Conchas, 5th Reconnaissance Squadron section chief, shared his story as a young Airmen struggling with weight gain.

“I was putting too much into my professional development that I lost track of what’s most important: my personal health,” said Conchas. “It took a lot of motivation, but thanks to my friends and Air Force family, I was able to get my weight under control.”

Overall, Storytellers is not just an opportunity for Airmen to share their stories, it provides a unique chance to find strength in shared experiences and community in the Air Force family.

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