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Dec. 7, 2022


Editor's note: This commentary focuses on mental health and the struggle that comes with Alaska winters, as well as how taking a leap of faith and taking care of oneself can help all facets of one's life.

Dec. 7, 2022

It's okay not to be okay

(Editor’s Note: This commentary focuses on the impact of caring for a loved one during end of life, and encouraging caregivers to seek mental health resources in order to navigate pain and grief from the death of a loved one.) Cynthia, my mother, is a vibrant woman. She laughs like there is no tomorrow, cries quietly so no one notices, assists those in need, and loves her family more than she loves herself.

Feb. 4, 2020

Intel Airman reflects on his time at JBER

Against the clouded sky, a large, metallic, circular structure transforms the beautiful Alaskan landscape near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. At a diameter of 1,433 feet and 137 feet tall, this structure is a relic of the Cold War. It is known officially as the AN/FLR-9 circularly disposed antenna array, or “Flare-9,” and was decommissioned in May 2016. The 40-acre footprint and 120-foot tower height dimensions is referred as a tongue-in-cheek name: the Elephant Cage. One could be forgiven for assuming as the Flare-9 passed into history, so too would the presence of the National Security Agency at JBER.

Jan. 31, 2020

Project Healing Hearts

The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson dental laboratory is a hidden gem in the Air Force Dental Service, capable of fabricating sports guards, retainers, dental crowns, and even maxillofacial reconstructive prostheses for injured warfighters. Our primary mission is ensuring the dental readiness of the Department of Defense warfighters, as dental emergencies account for 15 to 20 percent of all disease and non-battle injuries.

Jan. 31, 2020

Air Force Optometry History in 2020: "The Year of Optometry"

Air Force optometry came into existence around the same time the Air Force Medical Service stood up on July 1, 1949, and has been caring for the vision of aviators and warfighters ever since. Prior to that, even during World War II, enlisted hospital corpsmen without any formal training were providing limited vision care using crude equipment. Between 1950 and 1960, the Air Force saw great improvements in the type and quality of equipment available for optometry services, and commissioned optometrists were added to the Medical Service Corps.

June 12, 2019

Operation Colony Glacier: Feel Good Story or Something Greater?

Ever wrestle with the right response when a civilian walks up to a service member and says, “Thank you for your service”?

Jan. 19, 2017

Remembering Boston Marathon tragedy inspires patriotism in one 477 FG runner

As I prepare for the 2017 Boston Marathon, pounding the payment in 0 degree temperatures, on snow and ice covered trails, my mind is often drawn back to my first Boston Marathon, the 2013 marathon and my journey getting there, and the catastrophic ending to the event. Although I was not a victim physically, the events that day certainly had an impact on me and my family and altered my perspective on many things.

Nov. 29, 2016

What are the keys to FA success?

Maintaining fitness and weight standards is a way of life in the military--that's not telling you something you don’t already know. So here's the scenario, I know my Fitness Assessment is around the corner; how do I plan for that day? If you are like me, you have questions:-What should I eat? -What shouldn’t I eat? -What is the best exercise

June 3, 2016

Drinking Water Quality on JBER

JBER's drinking water missionA water utility seldom takes the opportunity to tell its customers about all they are doing to produce exceptional quality drinking water in conjunction with the myriad of additional things the utility does to ensure public safety. All too often, we concentrate only on our mission of producing water that goes through a

May 23, 2016

Chaplain's Corner: Do you have a rally point established in your life?

The "Chaplain's Corner" offers perspectives to enhance spiritual/religious resiliency in support of Air Force and Army Comprehensive Fitness programs. Comments regarding specific beliefs, practices, or behaviors are strictly those of the author and do not convey  endorsement by the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the