By Senior Airman Zachary Chapman, 17th Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 15, 2020
17th Training Wing Violence Prevention Integrator, Donna Casey, presents U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Alonso Hall, 316th Training Squadron Military Training Leader, a gift bag in the 316th TRS dormitory on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2020. Gift bags, snacks or thank you cards were given out to MTLs on Goodfellow as part of the Adopt-An-MTL program, thanking them for all that they do. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Chapman)
17th Training Wing Community Support Coordinator, David Sullins hands U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Nicholas Schule, 312th Training Squadron flight chief, a gift bag, as part of the Adopt-An-MTL, in the 312th TRS dormitory on Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2020. The Adopt-An-MTL program was created to let the military training leaders know they are not alone and that the Goodfellow family appreciated all they do. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Chapman)
17th Training Wing Violence Prevention Integrator, Donna Casey, prepares packages for Military Training Leaders in the Adopt-An-MTL program by packing gift bags at the Violence Prevention building, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, May 1, 2020. The Adopt-An-MTL program was created to let Goodfellow MTLs know they are not alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Chapman)
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Amidst everything happening during this pandemic it is easy to lose sight of the needs of others and focus solely on your own wellbeing, but the Community Action team is keeping Goodfellow’s Military Training Leaders in their thoughts.
The Community Action team created the Adopt-An-MTL program to make sure the MTLs are being remembered and thanked for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic. MTLs are assigned a sponsor who creates a gift bag, a thank you card or even just snacks for the MTL to remind them that they are not alone and with the intention to help them unwind.
“In my opinion, the MTLs are the backbone of our training program,” said 17th Training Wing Violence Prevention Integrator Donna Casey. “They are the first and last people the students see when at Goodfellow. They are there for them daily for the struggles and their victories.”
The service the MTLs provide for the students was taxing before, but now with the pandemic the worries and challenges have only increased.
“COVID-19 has impacted me in many ways,” said Staff Sgt. Alonso Hall, 316th Training Squadron MTL. “I know a few people who’ve lost the battle against COVID-19. I am doing my best to stay away from crowds of people and making sure that I wear my mask and gloves. It is very stressful because our job is hands on, but we had to be creative and find ways to accomplish the mission, while practicing social distancing.”
Along with the obvious challenges the pandemic adds for MTLs there are fears of contaminating their families or the stressors of deployments being lost or moved as is the case with Hall. The Adopt-An-MTL program cannot eliminate the challenges the MTLs face, but hopefully it will remind them they are part of a team.
“It feels good to know people see your daily sacrifice and are willing to go out of their way to personally thank you,” said Hall. “Our job is ever-changing and sometimes we don’t have time to decompress, so it’s good to see others are there to remind us that we are not alone.”
If you wish to join the Adopt-An-MTL program contact Mrs. Donna Casey for more information by phone at 325-654-5266 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.