There are many avenues for help

  • Published
  • By Col. Diane Hull
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing commander
Team Grand Forks lost a fellow Airman earlier this week; Senior Airman Roy Gibbons of the 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron passed away Aug. 14. We don't yet know why, but his heart stopped beating and he died from cardiac arrest.

Many Airmen on base knew Roy Gibbons. The loss of one of our own is always a tragedy. The only way we can make something good come from this terrible loss is to honor his memory, continue to serve and take care of each other during these challenging times.

There's no doubt that this has been a stressful summer for the Warriors of the North. We mourned the loss of Chief Master Sgt. Harry Walker in June, followed much too quickly by the passing of Airman Gibbons. Deployments, exercises, training and this fast-paced world in which we live can sometimes make life feel overwhelming. Times like these may cause people to put up walls, to retreat from their fellow Airmen or family members. Others may try to cope by excessive use of alcohol, drugs or through other hurtful behaviors. It is natural to feel alone at times or to want an escape.

Warriors of the North, you are not alone! If you feel despair, are discouraged and/or overwhelmed by stress, please know that you have places to go for help. We have an entire base full of wingmen. There are many professional agencies available on base to help...Chaplains, Mental Health, physicians, First Sergeants, Commanders, Airmen that are ready to listen and help work out the issues. You can also turn to, which is a Web site dedicated to resources and support for military members and their families. There's a venue to suit your needs.

Any loss of an Airman is tragic. Now is the time to be extra vigilant in taking care of our fellow Airmen and our families. Look out for each other and stay safe.