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Deployed Airman embodies resiliency through fitness

  • Published
  • By Maj. Khalid Cannon
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Capt. Ezekiel Duran, a physiologist with the 380th Expeditionary Medical Group here, is not only determined to be physically fit, working out two times each day while preparing to run a marathon, but also be the best possible wingman to his fellow deployed Airmen.

"One of my goals here is to help people succeed," he said. "I enjoy mentoring people and seeing them put what we discussed into action and in-turn succeeding."

Duran's duties as a physiologist include improving warfighter performance and safety by increasing awareness and understanding of human factor challenges while mitigating or eliminating human errors and mishaps.

Considered to be a fixture at the gym by his co-workers, Duran often encourages others to give their best and to stick to their fitness goals.  

"I like to help people create a vision, something that will benefit them and the people around them," said Duran who is deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. "If people are taking care of their social, mental, physical, and spiritual pillars of wellness then they will be happier and more successful."

Duran shared the motto for his family he dubbed "Team Duran."

"Our motto is 'Never give up and always do your best,'" he said. "To become a champion you have to train and strengthen your weaknesses. I apply this to life and I'm always working out or training how to be a better husband, father, friend, officer and physiologist."

Capt. Holly Brauer, the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Protocol chief, spoke about Duran's unwavering motivation and tireless attitude means to her during weight training and marathon conditioning -- often at 4:30 a.m.

"He definitely has the motivation and drive to make me try harder and push myself farther," she said. "He's a great mentor, and has a great attitude.

"A lot of Airmen come up to him at the gym and ask him questions about how to improve their fitness," she said. "He takes the time to listen to each one and gives them a personalized training plan, and you can see how much the Airmen appreciate it."

Duran stressed the importance of being there for your fellow Airmen during challenging times.

"We need to be good wingmen and take care of each other through good times and bad," he said. "In the Air Force we are a family, so we need to lift each other up and get the mission accomplished effectively, efficiently and safely."

Duran, who served as an enlisted ground radio operator and aerospace physiology technician during his first 10 years in the Air Force, spoke about what has helped him overcome challenges that he has faced in life and throughout his 15-year Air Force career.

When faced with one of his most difficult decisions, whether or not to stay in the Air Force, he credits the guidance his father gave him prior to passing away in 2004.

"That was hard for me because I wasn't happy at the time," Duran said. "My dad told me to finish my degree and stay in, so I decided to stay the course with school and then pursue my commission. I was very busy with two little ones, work, bodybuilding, numerous temporary duty assignments and other life challenges. But, like I encourage others, 'Don't make excuses why you can't but instead make excuses for why you should.'"