JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ -- Members of the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, recently participated in a teambuilding event to promote Comprehensive Airmen Fitness, enhance morale and identity among Airmen.
The event themed, “Let’s” was a call to action for Airmen, meaning let's eat, let's play, let's dress, and let's talk.
“My heart is with the Airmen, and I want to make sure they are taken care of,” said Dawn Marshall, event coordinator. “I want to make sure that their nutritional, financial, spiritual and wellness needs are met. Each one of them is like my own child.”
Marshall, along with the 621st CRW chaplain and other guest speakers, discussed with Airmen the benefits of recharging for resiliency and provided a cooking class on nutrition, as well as instructions on how to obtain free uniforms.
The event gave Airmen a day to break away from the mission and interact in a more casual setting playing video games and racing go-karts. A mental health advocate spoke about the importance of mental health and the impact it has on the health, welfare, and morale of the force.
“The guys are hard-working and need time like this to get to know each other and have fun as a team, because the CRW is a team,” said Capt. Guy Kagere, 621st CRW chaplain. “It's also a time to reflect on what keeps us going and the driving force in one's life.”
Airmen in attendance were treated to a lot of information on topics to enhance their morale and spiritual wellness, and participated in games too.
"I've only driven [go-karts] like once or twice in my life,” said Airman 1st Class Brian Eldridge, 621st Contingency Response Support Squadron air transportation specialist. “I'm not real competitive when it comes to that stuff. It was nice.”
Airmen learned how to prepare meals during the crock-pot portion of the event, eat healthier and spend less money eating out.
“Marshall is a very compassionate lady, teaching the guys how to cook,” Kagere said. “Eating healthy and being able to fix one’s meal is very important. It spares people from unnecessary expenditures, and the burdens that come with it.”
Marshall has done events like this at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and recently followed up this event with one for the 621st CRW on the West Coast at Travis Air Force Base, California.
1st Lt. Johann Choi, 60th Air Mobility Wing chaplain, organized the West Coast event and spoke to the importance of having events like this that inspire Airmen and work to retain a high quality, diverse force.
“I challenged them to look beyond their individual goals and purposes and to reflect on whether we as a people share an overarching purpose here in this world,” Choi said. “It gets people to interact more in a casual setting, it breaks down barriers, and it gives them an opportunity to open up.”