A coin for everyone

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn J. Ergish
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

Resiliency plays a huge role in Airmen’s ability to succeed in their Air Force careers. Without the assistance of numerous helping agencies across the base, Airmen would not be equipped with the tools they need to cope during difficult times.

The 355th Wing chaplain staff created a resiliency coin to provide Airmen a tangible resource to obtain all of the base helping agencies’ numbers.

“When we started having our resiliency talks, there was guidance that came out saying we needed to equip every returning deployer with phone numbers for the different helping agencies available to Airmen,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. David Leonard, 355th Wing chaplain. “All the phone numbers they may need are on the back of this coin and we want to encourage them to take advantage of that.”

The coin gives Airmen an easily accessible contact list for base support agencies such as the duty chaplain, Sexual Assault and Response Coordinator and Family Advocacy.

“We all get business cards throughout our career, but people throw those cards away,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Derrick Elliott, 355th Wing chaplain. “Most Airmen don’t throw a coin away because it means something to them. Creating something like this gives Airmen a resource when they need that help and support.”

The coin is presented to Airmen at post-deployment reintegration briefs to recognize their service. It is part of a bridge between deployment and their reintegration when they come back home.

“I’m glad that I was able to have all the resources I needed to help me properly transition after being away from friends and family for eight months,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Giovanni Sims, a 355th Wing Airman previously deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The chaplain staff distribute the coin as a statement of appreciation for the significant sacrifice each Airman has given to serve the United States.

“Not only is it a way of saying thank you for serving in harm’s way, it is also a symbol to remind them that we’re here to help and they are not alone,” said Leonard.

The 355th Wing chaplain staff is finding new and improved ways to keep their Airmen mentally fit-to-fight. In a time of crisis, Airmen can use this resiliency coin to easily find the helping resources they need.