By Sgt. L'Erin WynnOctober 26, 2018
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- In order to raise awareness of the services provided by the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Preservation of the Force and Family program, the POTFF team threw a ruck march event coined Ruck for Your Life, Oct. 17, 2018, here. As an added bonus, the event doubled as canned food drive to assist the neighborhood where the Group calls home.
For the sake of building community connections, participants were encouraged to pack their sacks with at least 35 pounds of non-perishable food items, march the four-mile route around the compound, then donate at the finish of the race. The unit to donate the most food was 1st Battalion. Overall, morale was high as everyone felt the good will of cheering each other on to raise awareness while helping those in need.
"The POTFF team offers services across the entire wellness spectrum and exemplifies the performance optimization culture that 7th Group strives to achieve," said Capt. Casey Nelson, Clinical Psychologist with the 7th SFG(A) Psychological Performance Program and an event creator and organizer.
The POTFF lines of effort consists of four programs: the chaplaincy for spiritual health, Military and Family Life Counseling for social and familial health, Tactical Human Optimization Rapid Rehabilitation and Reconditioning for physical health and last, but not least, the Psychological Performance Program for your mental health needs.
"Partnerships among P3, chaplains, MFLCs, THOR3, Group Med and Care Coalition provide multiple touchpoints where Soldiers and families have access to essential services," continued Nelson.
With their skills combined, the staff and service members who provide the potential that power these programs have the ability to build resilience, improve operational performance and help ensure the readiness of the force.
Nelson explained that with the help of 7th Group service members creating awareness through events like Ruck for Your Life, we can save and enhance each other's lives and the lives of our families; and with the collected donations, we are doing the same for our community.
"The meaning of this event is greater than what we as a resiliency team can do," said Sgt. Baillie Locke-Davis, 7th SFG(A) P3 clinic noncommissioned officer in charge. "An immense amount of good that can be done when people come together to serve others."
This year, the POTFF found a new community partner with Sharing and Caring, Crestview: a local food bank with multiple locations in the greater Okaloosa county area. This was the first collaboration between the charitable organization and the Group.
"We wanted our good will to demonstrate 7th SFG(A) as a solid community partner," said Nelson. "The Florida Panhandle is extremely friendly and supportive to military personnel and it's nice to be able to give back."
Of the 4,200 pounds of donated food items, more than half went to the displaced victims of Hurricane Michael.
"This event emphasized the importance of community, connectedness and understanding that no matter what the situation or conditions are, there are resources and people who care," said Locke-Davis.
"Our intent with the ruck march is to make it a legacy event," continued Nelson. "After all, the need for food never goes away."
To schedule an appointment, learn about volunteer opportunities and how you can help or be helped, call Sgt. Locke-Davis or Capt. Nelson at 850-885-4550.
Lo Que Sea, Cuando Sea, Donde Sea