HomeNewsArticle Display

AF family helps each other stay strong through illnesses, struggles

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) --

Nine pills in one hand, a glass of pop in the other, she was on the verge of swallowing death.

 

Screams from her husband stopped LaTonya Lewis from committing suicide. Military OneSource and months of therapy helped heal the aftermath.

 

Stronger now to cope with the illnesses that almost cost her her life, Lewis, the community support coordinator at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., uses her past and her passion to oversee and promote base agencies that can help others heal and move on.

 

 The same way Military OneSource helped Lewis, the other agencies of the Integrated Delivery System help military families at Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex carry the weight of life's struggles, Lewis said.

 

"Every member on that team is there so the weight on your shoulders doesn't get too heavy to where you begin to crumble," Lewis said. "We want to be able to be on your shoulders helping you hold the world up and let you know you got it."

 

Dedicated to serving and repairing an individual's mental, spiritual, physical or social states, IDS agencies were created solely to help maintain a healthy military community in all areas of life.

 

Such IDS agencies include child and youth programs, the Airman and family readiness center, base chapel, mental health clinic, health and wellness center, educational and developmental intervention services, family advocacy, sexual assault response coordinator, Military OneSource, equal opportunity office, military family life consultant, key spouses and the spouses' clubs.

 

Each agency comes together under one system to ensure the care, safety and health of those associated with the base and provide them with whatever they need to thrive at home, at work and in life, Lewis said.

 

"The point is for those agencies to come together as a team and to work together to take care of the community," Lewis said. "They feed the community with the nourishment and nutrients that they need."

 

To care for an individual's mental state, agencies focus on the mind's awareness, adaptability, decision making and positive thinking.  

 

Agencies help renew an individual's core values or beliefs, perspective, perseverance and purpose in servicing the spirit. To strengthen the physical body, agencies help improve one's endurance, nutrition, recovery and strength. Finally, communication, connectedness, support and teamwork among family, friends and coworkers improve the social environment of military families.

 

Comprised of a diverse team of military, civilian, contractors and spouses, each agency is able to provide a wide variety of perspectives, professional advice and personal experiences to those they help.

 

 Each one is a hero, said Col. Trent Edwards, the 42nd Air Base Wing commander.

 

"The IDS and all the people who comprise the IDS agencies are heroes to me," Edwards said. "They are charged with educating, training, inspiring and uplifting Airmen and families. When life happens and people need help carrying the load, the IDS is there for them."

 

 Edwards said he hopes others can benefit and be encouraged by Lewis' story.

 

 It took a lot of courage and strength for Ms. LaTonya Lewis to share her personal story and triumph," he said. "She is a great example of how Airmen can benefit from IDS and go on to achieve success in life."

 

 Lewis encourages everyone to visit or call an agency if they or someone they know needs help. Doing so promotes and improves the health of a strong, united Air Force family, she said.

 

"We don't want to have a suicide, we don't want to have another lost person, we don't want to have another hurt person, we don't want to have another divorce, we don't want to have another runaway child, we don't want to have another broken home, we don't want anything else destroyed," Lewis said.

 

"We want to have our Maxwell and Gunter family glued together,” she said. “The doors are open and the phones are ready to be answered."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
DYK: Aircraft have lifespans! Like humans, they require check-ups in the form of maintenance inspections to prolong their ability to fly. These "checks" prevent in-flight system failures which ultimately protects aircrew and passengers. Learn more from the 86th Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany on what it takes to correct issues so aircraft can stay airborne.
WATCH: United States Air Force pilots talk about the importance of Exercise Saber Strike 18 as they refuel over the Baltic Sea on June 18, 2018. Saber Strike 18 is a long-standing training exercise designed to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and our allies. The training focused on improving land and air operational capabilities between the U.S. and our NATO allies. (U.S. Air National Guard video by: Master Sgt. Wolfram M. Stumpf)
Check out some shots from yesterday's All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game in Washington, D.C. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals U.S. Army
Air Force and U.S. Army coed softball teams render military honors during the playing of the National Anthem during the All-Star Armed Services Classic Championship softball game, Washington, D.C., July 13, 2018. This event, part of MLB’s All-Star Week, pays tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces. Washington Nationals
Great way to lead by example!
The United States Air Force is facing a pilot shortage. To help solve the challenge, the Aircrew Crisis Task Force was recently created to provide strategic direction and actionable recommendations to senior leaders on how to solve the aircrew manning crisis. FULL STORY: https://go.usa.gov/xUb3z
Your United States Air Force news: ✓ A B-52 crew assists in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Guam ✓ An Afghan pilot class graduates in the Czech Republic ✓ The Air Force is using innovative approaches to training pilots to make the process faster and more efficient
Now that’s how weathermen work! Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly weather reconnaissance missions into Tropical Storm Chris and Tropical Storm Beryl. http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1569944/hurricane-hunters-fly-tropical-storms-beryl-chris/
The F-22 Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. Maintaining these aircraft can involve a bit of a learning curve. Airmen at KadenaAirBase use past technology to help learn how to work with the undefeated Raptor. FULL STORY: http://www.kadena.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1567295/hard-to-raptor-head-around/
Help us out! Can you caption this photo?
The B-52 Stratofortress has sniper pods that provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilize surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. Air Force Global Strike Command crew members on a B-52 were able to spot a historic Pacific Island style canoe so that the U.S. Coast Guard could rescue the six passengers!
For the past 60 years, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has continually helped us maintain a technological edge against our advarsaries. Together with the Air Force Research Laboratory - AFRL, a fusion of ideas is leading to newly highlighted innovations.
SOUND ON! Celebrate freedom with the sound of freedom! Happy Independence Day!
RT @USecAF_Official: Since the first flight as an independent service in 1947, the Air Force has provided our Nation's most responsive and…
RT @DeptofDefense: Today marks 71 years of #AirForce strength in the skies. Happy Birthday to the @USAirForce. #AFBday #AF71 https://t.co/y…
RT @MacDill_AFB: Happy Birthday @usairforce ! 71 years of integrity, excellence and service before self. https://t.co/nNwmbcurNj
RT @USArmyEurope: Happy Birthday to the United States Air Force. The largest most technically advanced air force in the world, supporting #…
RT @USAFHealth: “For 71 years, Airmen have been present at every conflict, disaster, and humanitarian mission providing Trusted Care anytim…
Today we celebrate 71 years as the world's greatest #AIRPOWER! #Birthday #AFBDay https://t.co/VOY8ixMUlO
During #ASC18, our #Airmen asked: How do you see multi-domain command & control integrating with our allies?… https://t.co/NLJFcJ86bt
During #ASC18, our #Airmen asked: Where are we today on developing new space operators & where will we be in the ne… https://t.co/a3IGP2gpnt
During #ASC18, our #Airmen asked: How do you see multi-domain command & control integrating with our allies?… https://t.co/GzyNIWKaWg
RT @AFResearchLab: Our team is showing off how fantastic our booth is this year! So come meet us at #booth601 for knowledge on what we do a…
RT @US_Stratcom: Gen Hyten: “All of our oaths start the same way, we swear an oath to the #Constitution, to a set of ideals written down on…
#ICYMI: @SecAFOfficial discussed the significance of the 70th Anniversary of the #BerlinAirlift during a commemorat… https://t.co/MLP7m1A1d1
.@SecAFOfficial: In his time, Billy Mitchell was the advocate for the #USAF we need. Now it's up to us -- all of us… https://t.co/5nfk096dpw
.@SecAFOfficial: I want to thank all of you for what you are doing to build a more lethal & ready #USAF, to field t… https://t.co/dVv7UUM3RI
.@SecAFOfficial: Over the past 6 months, #USAF acquisition has striped 56 yrs out of planned schedules in our acqui… https://t.co/6FgjTGUeVn
.@SecAFOfficial: By December of this year we will have closed that gap to zero. #ASC18
.@SecAFOfficial: In September of 2016, the #USAF was short 4,000 maintainers. #ASC18
.@SecAFOfficial: We have an obligation to our countrymen. To tell them, as those before us have done in their time,… https://t.co/xYAyI4NPe5