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Getting the most out of your base

Members of Goodfellow Air Force Base play music together on a break during a talent show at the Crossroads on Goodfellow AFB, Texas, Feb. 16, 2018. Talent shows are just one of the many events for members to come together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

Members of Goodfellow Air Force Base play music together on a break during a talent show at the Crossroads on Goodfellow AFB, Texas, Feb. 16, 2018. Talent shows are just one of the many events for members to come together. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Chapman/Released)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The phrase, a base is what you make of it, is said a lot to new Airman, but no one really explains the idea or where to begin looking for things to do.

“All of the classes at Carswell Field House or Mathis Fitness Center are completely free to any with base access,” said 17th Medical Group Health Promotion Coordinator, Elizabeth Burmeister. “They have Jujitsu, circuit training class, yoga, cycling and personal trainers. They can work one-on-one with you to get you caught up on the equipment and how to use it. The pool is another great option. Getting into the pool and swimming back and forth is a great time to be with your own thoughts and it’s a great way to decompress.”

“Find something you are interested in and get involved!“

Some may not want to spend their free time joining classes or working out in the gym, but there are other outlets as well. If looking toward the future or working toward a degree is more important, the Consolidated Learning Center is here to help.

“One of the things that I always encourage is anything that you can do to better yourself,” said 17th Force Support Squadron Chief of Education and Training, Allison Garner. “Our job is to help members improve in their careers and be prepared for when they separate. We are here not only for a casual 10 minute briefing, but if they make an appointment, we will set aside an hour and we will get them where they need to go.

“Everything that we do is going to be working toward what the member wants to do. Our goal is to create a plan for every Airman, designed for where they want to be each step of the way. We are not going to tell you what to study! We make sure the education you get is the education you want.”

While self-improvement is important, maybe one of the most important parts of connecting with a new base is connecting with its people.

“I think that the most important thing about the events we hold is the opportunity for people to get to know their chaplain and build relationships with one another,” said Capt. Jonathan Shour, 17th Training Wing chaplain. “I greatly value building relationships with Airmen, often the events that we provide are a great way to do that.

“Don’t presume there is nothing out there, ask your unit chaplain. They may already have something planned, or if we are not currently planning something we may be able to. Suggestion to have a flight-level resiliency hike or a squadron ski trip may lead to an actual event, although you will have to pray pretty hard for the snow around here.”

When looking for organizations to help with networking, the First Four can provide new Airmen the connections for growth and socializing.

“I joined the First Four to create professional connections with other Airmen on base, and to take advantage of morale events specifically geared towards the permanent party Airmen population,” said Airman 1st Class Catherine Fajardo, 17th Medical Operations Squadron dental assistant. “Our goal is to be an outlet for social, professional and career development for all permanent party enlisted members; through programs and events that inform, educate and entertain.

“Put yourself out there! It is all about perspective. Find something you are interested in and get involved.”