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131st Bomb Wing hosts 'Wingman Day'

Airman 1st Class Canisha Hardrict asks questions to Don Gosha, a Veteran?s benefits representative for the VA, during Wingman Day in Hanger One at Lambert ANGB Mar. 20. During his speech, Mr. Gosha stated there are several different offices for Veteran?s affairs, but only one that deals with member?s benefits. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Hodges)

Airman 1st Class Canisha Hardrict asks questions to Don Gosha, a Veteran?s benefits representative for the VA, during Wingman Day in Hanger One at Lambert ANGB Mar. 20. During his speech, Mr. Gosha stated there are several different offices for Veteran's affairs, but only one that deals with member?s benefits. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Hodges)

Tracy Anderson, a representative from Military OneSource, provides information to Master Sgt. Margie Rhives during Wingman Day in Hanger One at Lambert ANGB Mar. 20.  Military OneSource is known as a resource that provides help to all military members for deployment, relocation, and family issues.  (Photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Hodges)

Tracy Anderson, a representative from Military OneSource, provides information to Master Sgt. Margie Rhives during Wingman Day in Hanger One at Lambert ANGB Mar. 20. Military OneSource is known as a resource that provides help to all military members for deployment, relocation, and family issues. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Amber Hodges)

LAMBERT IAP -- Members from the 131st Bomb Wing gathered in hanger one at Lambert International Airfield Mar. 20 to participate in Wingman Day, an event used to disseminate information about resources available to military members and their families.

Maj. Derek Wolter, 131st BW chaplain, explained, in past years Wingman Day has focused on safety in the workplace. However, this year the theme was centered around benefits offered to servicemembers through the community, as well as educating them on preventable dangers on and off duty.

"As the Guard, we have a great resource," said Chaplain Wolter. "Through the community, we have resources available to us to provide a safety net."

The event started with briefings from multiple speakers and organizations, followed by time for the members to visit with vendors to learn more about benefits available to them.

The speakers touched on a wide variety of subjects, to include: how to handle stress and anxiety and the affects it has on the body; readjustment counseling when a servicemember is suffering from Post Tramatic Stress Disorder; indicators to look for to identify early signs of workplace violence, as well as ways to get out when a situation turns violent; benefits available to Veterans based on their title category; the dangers of driving while texting, being sleepy, not paying attention to deer, or while under the influence of alcohol; and a representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving who spoke on the importance of having a plan when going out to a social event where there will be drinking, because the act of drinking, driving and causing an accident is a 100 percent preventable crime .

The event also included vendors from Small Business Administration, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Columbia College, Ashford University, Most 529 College Plan, Military One Source, Tricare, 4-H children's camp, United Service Organizations, United Concordia, Veteran's Benefits, Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, and base counselors.

The vendors were organizations that have worked with servicemembers in many different areas of their military careers. From school benefits to helping reintegrate the member after returning from a deployment.

"We work with servicemembers during each phase of deployment, pre, during and post, to ensure a smooth transition," said Abigail Rolbiecki, Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program representative.

Wingman Day consisted of two separate sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Chaplain Wolter said, the objective of Wingman Day was to show servicemembers the tools available to them and the opportunities they have to take care of themselves, and their co-workers.

"It's our duty to take care of each other, to ensure the safety and welfare of our Wingmen," said Command Chief Master Sgt. Richard Pingleton, 131st Bomb Wing.