Soldiers and civilians kicked off the Fort Eustis Resiliency Day on April 20 to promote resources on the installation designed to improve Soldiers' quality of life.
Resiliency Day is a round-robin style event that offers various interactive briefings, to include classes highlighting financial readiness resources, education resources, an introduction to the Army Wellness Center, and a meal preparatory class available through the Fort Eustis Army Community Services.
"Resilience Day here on Fort Eustis is an opportunity to educate new Soldiers on resources that are available on the installation before needing them," said Col. Jacobson. "We are proactively engaging with our population on the installation that are more at risk of needing to use these resources rather than reacting to a negative event occurring."
The Resiliency Day pilot took place in January 2023. Aljournal Franklin, the Community Ready and Resilient Integrator for Fort Eustis, said they were able to take Soldier feedback from the pilot to make the day more interactive and useful for the Soldiers.
“We realized that what we were doing could make a real difference," said Franklin. "Young Soldiers and Soldiers new to Fort Eustis are unaware of the resources available on the installation. Educating our servicemembers on available resources only benefits the Fort Eustis team."
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael McMurdy, the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training Senior Enlisted Leader, said the training is beneficial to for more than just new Soldiers.
“I have only been here for a little more than a week, so I am still learning all the resources available on this installation”, McMurdy said. “Events like this would have been really useful when I was a junior enlisted Soldier, I am really excited to learn about the resources on Fort Eustis that I haven’t already been exposed to”.
One of the courses was hosted by Sgt. Maj. (Retired) Thomas Campbell, who used his personal experience to focus on overcoming thoughts of suicide and ways to intervene if one of your battle buddies were showing signs of suicidal ideations.
For Pvt. Dylan Ebanks, a Soldier with the 7th Transportation Brigade (Expeditionary), Campbell’s story made a significant impact.
“Sgt. Maj. Campbell’s story on resilience was very inspiring to me and something I will draw inspiration from for many years to come,” stated Ebanks.