Aviation Task Force builds more resilient force
November 27, 2013
Not everyone has such a rough start in life, but many do have low points in their lives where they feel like nothing they do matters and there is no way out - that suicide is the only relief - this is why Staff Sgt. Christopher Bouten, S3 noncommissioned officer in charge, U.S. Army Alaska Aviation Task Force, shared his story of life's ups and downs during USARAK's Ready and Resilient Campaign, or R2C, targeted at strengthening Soldiers' resilience and improving their readiness.
"We all have different backgrounds, different stories and our own struggles, but you're not alone. Whether it is friends, family, or other resources, resiliency is a team effort," said Bouten. "I made the decision that I was going to fight for what I wanted and I am going to break this cycle. Sometimes, that means asking for help.
"It was those struggles and fights through my childhood that made me grow up to be the adult I am," said Bouten. "Being resilient is being able to cope and deal with life's struggles in appropriate manners, and when you have difficulty doing so on your own, knowing when to reach out for help. Just because you ask for help doesn't make you weak, quite the opposite, it is a show of courage."
For those that feel they cannot take control of their struggles and need help through the low points in their lives, USARAK has multiple resources for Soldiers considering suicide to persevere and enhance their resiliency during troubled times.
Soldiers were introduced to many of those sources during R2C Week.
Battalion chaplains, one of the many resources available to Soldiers and their families, provide pastoral care and counseling and everything is strictly confidential.
"We are providing a safe environment for Soldiers to come and vent, and talk about what's going on in their lives," said Capt. Jay Hudson, chaplain for 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment. "The only person that has the right to share what goes on is you."
"We get people coming to see us about stress, depression, suicide issues, homicide issues, marriage, divorce, parenting, work issues, chain-of-command issues, money problems, religion, grief, addictions and Uniformed Code of Military Justice issues," said Hudson.
Soldiers can seek assistance from the behavioral health facility for counseling, coaching and even medication if needed for depression, anger issues and other mental stressors for Soldiers and their family members.
Another brigade resource for soldiers experiencing depression is the Military Family Life Consultants. MFLCs provide anonymous support to soldiers and their family members. They provide individual or group coaching and training sessions. MFLCs also provide informal counseling outside their office to help meet a Soldier's location needs.
These are just a few of the numerous resources Soldiers can go to before stress of depression gets the best of them.
If you know someone who is contemplating suicide, do not be afraid to take the step and ask them the question. It may save a life.