F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE – A story telling event was hosted May 24, 2021 at F.E. Warren Air Force Base.
The event included a panel of three: Senior Master Sgt. Robert Bartsch, 90th Comptroller Squadron superintendent, Command Chief Master Sgt. Nicholas Taylor, 90th Missile Wing command chief, and Mark Warner, wing process manager, who shared their personal stories of resiliency and strength.
Bartsch expressed his personal views on the importance of using logical decision making during times of adversity.
“You can’t let your emotions cloud you so much that you can’t see the forest through the trees, so to speak,” said Bartsch. “You have to be able to see all of the options. Making an emotional decision on something is usually the wrong decision.”
He also expressed the importance of asking others for help when problems cannot be solved individually.
“You’re never going to know the solution to all of your problems,” said Bartsch. “You’re human. You can’t. There are folks out there who do know. Be willing to let your ego down enough to ask for help and realize that you don’t know everything.”
Warner agrees that seeking help from other people may be the appropriate course of action to solve problems.
“Our Air Force is corralled into the four pillars: the mental, the social, the physical and the spiritual,” said Warner. “If I’m in the boundaries of those four pillars, then I know things are okay. If I’m not in those boundaries, then I know that there are people or helping agencies I can turn to.”
Taylor expressed the importance of experiencing negative emotions to preserve mental health.
“You need to experience every bit of that emotion,” said Taylor. “Otherwise, you’re going to put it somewhere else and it’s going to come out another way. It’s good to experience that. Although many times, we were not taught to do that.”
The event provided Airmen in attendance the opportunity to ask questions of the panel during a Q&A segment of the event.
Finally, all Airmen and their families were encouraged to talk with each other, their leaders and base support agencies about suicidal thoughts, expressions of self-harm, or mentions of suicide.
If you or anyone you know is dealing with thoughts of self-harm, please contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text WYO to 741741. If it is an emergency, contact local law enforcement by dialing 911.