Retreat focuses on spiritual pillar
By Airman 1st Class Sergio A. Gamboa, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 08, 2014
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Chaplain Corps and the 325th Force Support Squadron teamed up to host an Airmen singles event to Orlando, Fla., April 5-6 focusing on the spiritual pillar.
The Air Force has four pillars: mental, physical, social and spiritual. The trip focused on the spiritual fitness of Airmen and resiliency.
"The number one thing we hear as chaplain is, 'I'm spiritual, but not very religious,'" said Maj. Timothy Rosenthal, 325th Fighter Wing chaplain. "It is so used, that we believe it has become an empty phrase."
If Airmen can't answer: What they are doing in war? What they think about killing? How to handle stress and what to think about life and death? Then Airmen aren't doing the military mission and themselves any favors, Rosenthal said.
"My faith road told me to follow my religion," Rosenthal said. "Somebody might have a different highway that they are on and that is fine. The trip was meant to challenge you to get off the entrance ramp, get on that highway and drive. Your spiritual pillar can answer those questions."
The military wants to know, that in a time of war and great stress, you are rooted in your spirituality, said Rosenthal.
"If you have an existential meltdown, when the 'bullets are flying,' then you are not spiritually fit," Rosenthal added.
On the bus ride to Orlando, Airmen had the chance to talk about their spiritual pillar and ways to practice resiliency.
"I learned how important spirituality is and how to define it within yourself," Airman 1st Class Maekyla Rosendo, 325th Contracting Squadron contracting specialist. "It is not necessarily religious, but it is something that helps you stay strong in a challenging situation in your life."
While in Orlando, Airmen spent time at Gatorland and Sea World.
"I had a great time," said Senior Airman Ashley Davis, 325th CS contracting specialist. "It was a good opportunity to meet people who are not in my unit and from around the base. I hope they get to do it again and hope that more Airmen get to come out and have a great time."
While on the road to Orlando, Airmen took a survey on how satisfied they were on their spiritual pillar and how well they could define spirituality from a scale from 1 through 10. By the end of the trip, both answers rose by at least a point.
"I was very excited about the turn out and hope we can do more events like this in the future," Rosenthal said.