By Lance DavisSeptember 18, 2017
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Sept. 18, 2017) - Camp Zama hosted its annual Resilient Living Day Sept. 15 at Camp Zama Community Club.
The purpose was to provide resources and tips to the community on how to "thrive and live with intent," said RaShonda Labrador, event organizer and program manager for Army Substance Abuse Program.
The day also recognized Retirees from the Army, and other military branches, with a Retiree Appreciation Day Ceremony.
The ceremony had several guest speakers who spoke on topics that included Veterans Affairs, master resiliency training and benefits for Retirees and Veterans.
Keynote speaker Maria Bentinck, deputy director for Army Retirement Services at the Pentagon, emphasized the importance of retirees staying engaged with the Army and military at large.
"We want them (retirees) to remain connected to the Army. Their mission has changed, but their duty has not.
"So many Americans do not know what our Soldiers do; do not know how vital they (Soldiers) are to our country.
"We want the Veterans to get out, the retired Soldiers to get out, in the community and volunteer; let others know about their service so that inspires other people to join ... our military," said Bentinck.
The appreciation ceremony concluded with Col. Phillip Gage, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Japan, recognizing Retirees and Veterans who served in the Vietnam War.
Chuck Hopkins, retired Soldier and Vietnam War Veteran, said current generations will be motivated, or demotivated, to serve based on how they see previous generations are treated after they have served.
"If you treat your Veterans well, and you give them honor and respect, that will motivate others to want to serve also," Hopkins said.
Resilient Living Day continued with interactive seminar breakout sessions that included topics on family, physical, spiritual, emotional, social and work-life health.
A resilience fair was also provided, offering a variety of ways for community members to learn about resources and connect with organizations to build a supportive network.
Capt. Jennifer Bromm, event participant, said she found the family health seminar very beneficial. She also said RLD is helpful to all who participate because people need to "bounce back" from and "adapt" to whatever challenging situations are put in front of them.
"I think it's very important to make sure people are coping well ... getting the help that they need when their dealing with difficult circumstances," said Bromm.
RaShonda Labrador, event organizer, said September is Suicide Awareness Month and resiliency skills can help prevent suicide.
"You are not alone," Labrador said. "If you need support, you have so many people that are here ... ready and able to help you.
"Don't be afraid to be that support that someone may need from you. We all have the tools that we need to be able to save a life."