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Team provides mental health support for service members

There is a team at The 134th Air Refueling Wing at Mcghee Tyson Airport that supports the needs of the airmen. It is called the Resiliency Team.
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:35 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - There is a team at The 134th Air Refueling Wing at Mcghee Tyson Airport that supports the needs of the airmen. It is called the Resiliency Team.

The airmen at the 134th work on K-135 tankers that go on refueling missions. Airmen can receive counseling with the Director of Psychological Health Natalie Pankau.

“I think it is so important to break down the barriers, and the stigma, to say it is okay. It encourages and it’s okay to talk about things as soon as possible so it doesn’t become overwhelming,” said Pankau.

Wing Chaplain Derick Wakefield guides airmen through their experience through faith.

“If you have healthy airmen, healthy families, healthy relations people can excel and do better on the job. I’ve had people go through traumatic experiences and get through it and I like it say God can take your mess and make it your ministry,” said Wakefield.

While airmen are on a mission, duties at home, don’t stop. Airmen Family Readiness Manager Bill Conner helps with anything a family member might need.

“They know there are people here who are ready to be there with their families when they are gone and that’s what makes our job successful,” said Conner.

Terrell Patrick serves as the S.A.R.C., which stands for Sexual Abuse Response Coordinator. He creates relationships with the airmen so they can come to him if there is a problem with sexual assault.

“It’s important to take care of our folks because if we take care of our people then our mission is more successful because if they’re out here trying to fly a plane, they can’t effectively do their jobs,” said Patrick.

The 134th Air Refueling Wing is a unit of the Tennessee Air National Guard. You can learn more here.

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