Being a Good Wingman

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- We've heard talk about being a good wingman and how it relates to safety, time and time again.

Is it valid? The answer may depend upon your perspective; perspective in this case, meaning whether or not you've experienced the death or injury of a family member, friend or co-worker due to a safety mishap.

If you've never been through the horror of losing someone close to you - whether it's on- or off-duty - you might think , "this will never happen to me" or "I know my limits" or "my friends and I do everything right." When you think this way, the wingman concept seems irrelevant. Whatever your thought process is, it's a perspective that can change instantly when something does happen to someone you care about. The perspective of a person who's lost a loved one is almost the complete opposite. "What could I have done?" is a common question, "was everything done right?" or "did this have to happen?" A wingman seems obvious now.

Airmen at all levels of command have a role as wingmen. Friends, family and work all depend on each other, even when not openly expressed. Being in the military community, we become close to each other and sometimes have holes in our support system due to having friends permanently change station, deploy, retire, swap work areas or go on leave. Listed below is a quick reference for the resources that can be utilized for assistance, advice and support at all levels.

Goodfellow Air Force Base CARE line, 325-654-2273: There are 9 options when dialing the CARE line. 1.) National Suicide Hotline, 2.) Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, 3.) Chaplain, 4.) Military Family Life Consultant, 5.) 1st Sergeant and Command Post, 6.) Navy, Marine Corps or Army 1st Sergeant, 7.) Airmen Against Drunk Driving, 8.) Mental Health, 9.) Medical Appointments

CARE LINE (24-HOUR OPERATION): - 325-654-2273
EMERGENCY FIRE, AMBULANCE, CRIME STOP PHONE NUMBER: 911
EMERGENCY FIRE, AMBULANCE, CRIME STOP CELL PHONE NUMBER: 325-654-7000 or 7001
CHAPLAIN DUTY OFFICER: DUTY HOURS, 325-654-3424; NONDUTY HOURS, 325-654-3558
SEXUAL ASSAULT RESPONSE COORDINATOR 24-HOUR HOTLINE: 325-654-1570
DRUG AND ALCOHOL COUNSELING: DUTY HOURS, 325-654-3122; NONDUTY HOURS, 325-654-3558
MEDICAL DUTY OFFICER ON CALL: NONDUTY HOURS, 325-654-3059
MILITARY EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: DUTY HOURS, 325-654-4293
MENTAL HEALTH/FAMILY ADVOCACY: DUTY HOURS 325-654-3122
SAN ANGELO'S CRISIS INTERVENTION "HOT LINE:" 325-653-5933
WING SAFETY: DUTY HOURS 325-654-3894, 3963, OR 3891
WING SAFETY: NON DUTY HOURS, CALL THE COMMAND POST AT 325-654-3558