EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) is in the family business. The number one priority for the Group Command team is its Soldiers and Families. In an effort to continue that legacy, 7th SFG (A) hosted a Health and Wellness seminar benefiting Soldiers, their Families and children at Laurel Hills Farm in Laurel Hill, Fla., Jan. 20-21, 2023.
The seminar encouraged families to interact with one another while learning about resiliency, purpose, sacrifice, teamwork, and spirituality with a focus on family. Col. Kevin Trujillo, 7th SFG (A) commander, invited a diverse group of guest speakers to share their expertise in their fields and provide their own personal testimonials.
The guest speakers ranged from civilian doctors, financial advisors, and active and retired military service members. Among them were Dr. Michael and Wendy Perry, founders of KATALIS (Beyond Leadership), Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert Dees, President of the National Center for Healthy Veterans; Russell Black, Latin Impact Ministries President/CEO; Kerry Black, transition coordinator for the Special Operators Transition Foundation, Retired Master Sgt. Drew Stamp, a financial advisor, and Dr. Eric Cupp, a professional speaker and consultant.
The event began with an invocation given by the 7th Group Chaplain, Maj. Matthew McCraney. “Soldiers and families whose home life is resilient are better prepared to face the unique missions we face in SOF,” said McCraney. Spiritual resilience can often be a foundation for Soldiers and their Families in their journey through service.
The first day of the seminar consisted of guest speakers that spoke on strengthening family relationships with a focus on resiliency, creating a mission statement, exploring financial readiness, and a children focused brief. Families worked together to identify areas in their daily routine to enhance these areas with well thought out tactics supporting goals and future growth.
Day two of the event began with a local threat assessment brief from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to better inform Soldiers and their families of the methods to mitigate risks. Families then split-up for a more hands-on approach of events that began with a game of “rock, paper, scissors” between families. They were encouraged to motivate others by cheering each other to success. Families were then provided time to bond with meals provided by local vendors and participate in a scavenger hunt.
Retired US Army Maj. Gen. Robert Dees spoke at the event stating that “It is never too late to build resiliency.” He shared how building resiliency can strengthen a family’s bond. Soldiers and their families were trained in various relationship and parenting tools that addressed stressors they could potentially encounter in day-to-day life. Gen. Dees challenged the parents attending to raise resilient children by facing adversity and practicing conflict resolution. “Families should always be ready for the inevitable adversity in life,” said Dees.
Health and Wellness seminars such as these are designed to help Soldiers and their families find the necessary resources when facing adversity. Those attending were given time to engage with 7th SFG (A)’s internal resources to better understand how unit providers are equipped to help alleviate family stressors.
“When a Soldier’s home life is stable, they can better focus on the mission,” said Maj. McCraney.
The seminar concluded with a review of the mission statements that the families created the first day. With a newly attained focus on their aspirations and goals through resilience, families were better able to apply perspective to see their vision and understand where their principles and values lie.
For more information on 7th SFG(A) Health and Wellness resources please contact Human Performance & Wellness Operations Director LTC Josh Enke at (850) 885-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.