I love inflation! Published May 18, 2014 By 1st Lt. David Liapis 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNS) -- I'm a ball. Yeah, you heard me right. I didn't say I'm having a ball. I'm a sports ball -- the "basket" kind to be more specific. We sports balls have it pretty rough. My cousins and I may have different functions, but we all, without exception, have to put up with an awful lot of abuse -- and I won't say from whom (cough, humans, cough, cough). How would you like it if you existed so people could use you, toss you around, kick you in dirt and hit you with clubs, racquets and bats? Then, to top it all off, they yell at us when they screw up! I'll tell you what though, I feel lucky to have as much ability to bounce back as I do! It takes some serious resilience to be me. Although, not all of us have it so well. My second cousin, "Rollie" the bowling ball, well, he ain't got any bounce. When he hits the floor, he rolls around in the gutter and then just disappears for a while. He eventually shows back up seemingly ready for more, but I have my doubts. I think he gets especially tired of being poked in the eyes all the time. I know I would! Then there's old grandpa pigskin. He bounces all right, but you never know which way he's gonna go. Sometimes he heads in the right direction, but other times he seems to lose as much ground as he may have gained. Of course, he's susceptible to the same struggles most of us balls have -- leaking. However, those snooty Billiard Brothers and even Rollie don't have to deal with it like the rest of us. How about you? Do you ever just feel flat? I know when I'm feeling a bit deflated, it's hard to bounce back like I want to. I don't know about you, but it pretty much always takes a helping hand to come along and help me feel full and happy again. Sure, I can sit there on the rack next to all the other basketballs and look like there's nothing wrong; but all it takes is for someone to dribble me once and then there's no question I need a little care. I sure wish I could reach out and let someone know I need a little attention. You humans have it so good, especially you military members. You've got all kinds of ways to seek help when you're feeling flat or need someone to talk to. There are all the Comprehensive Airman Fitness resources, mental health services, chaplains, commanders and first sergeants, supervisors, coworkers, family, friends. The list goes on! What do we sports balls have? Towels and sanitizing spray? I really shouldn't complain though. My uncle, Birdie the golf ball, has it the worst! In addition to his complexion problem (poor guy has pockmarks all over him!) people smack him all over the place, curse at him, then jam him into a nasty little tube with brushes and water and try to drown him! That is, of course, if they can keep track of him. If he gets lost, they just leave him to rot at the bottom of a pond or become home décor for some groundhog. Some life that is! Just remember that no matter how bad you think you have it, there are always ways to find help. Use the avenues available and look out for yourself and your wingmen. I get to be part of basketball games all the time (don't forget, I'm the ball!), and it's pretty evident when a team communicates well and has each other's backs. They may drop me from time to time, but we always bounce back together. That's the point of all of this -- being able to bounce back requires communication, teamwork and a willingness to ask for help.