Get over the hump

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tara R. Abrahams
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

The Beale Chapel Corps. hosted Hump Day, a resiliency event for Airmen to talk about deployments and meet a certified therapy camel, Aug. 17, 2016, here.

Hump Day’s featured guest, Hump-free, is a 13-year-old male dromedary (one hump) camel from Lyon Ranch in Sonoma, California. He has been a certified therapy animal for about 10 years. As a therapy camel, he has visited hospitals, nursing homes, senior facilities, Stanford University and special events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Along with interacting with Hump-free, the event gave Team Beale a chance to talk with others about resiliency both during and after a deployment.

“This allows us to really create a deep knowledge of people who have experienced it, and they can share it with those around them,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Timothy Tangen, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Chapel Corps.

Participants shared their stories about deployments, strategies to get over the hump and successes. They were encouraged to write their experiences and tips on a chalkboard.

“It’s a visualization of what Airmen are thinking,” Tangen said. “It really creates an openness for them and gives them an opportunity to verbalize what’s going on in their mind.”

Many individuals who have deployed found it helpful to be able to share their experiences and a way to support others.

“It helps you feel like you’re not the only one feeling the hardships,” said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Echternach, 12th Aircraft Maintenance Unit debrief noncommissioned officer in charge.

The event also provided Airmen who haven’t deployed a glimpse into what others have experienced. “It gives insight from many different perspectives,” said Airman Armando Esparza, 12th AMU avionics technician. “It was good to hear from both enlisted Airmen and officers.”

According to Tangen, talking about deployments helped people realize new ideas. The event was not only about the difficulties, but with Hump-free there to help inspire conversation, laughter and resiliency, it was also about the successes and accomplishments.