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Volunteers show commuters ‘We Care’ at JBSA-Lackland entry gates

By Allison Miller | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | Dec. 19, 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO- LACKLAND, Texas —

Volunteer active duty members, spouses and civilians stood at two Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland gates holding signs with messages of support in the first-ever We Care event, Dec. 18.

This event, organized by the 323rd Training Squadron and Spouses Club, was created to convey the message that JBSA community members stand together and support those struggling with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide. 

“The main goal (of this event) was to welcome in all of our Lackland community to include active duty members, dependents, retirees, GS and contractors,” said Capt. Jessica-Lynn Stanley, licensed clinical social worker and chief deputy of basic military training consult service. “And let them know that we do care about them and that they are vital to the mission.”

We Care was first presented to the 323rd TRS by spouses who had seen a similar event occur at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. It was then adopted by leadership and developed into a display for morning commuters.

Lt. Col. Ray Vann, 323rd TRS commander, stressed that his team felt it was important to push this message out before the holidays.

“The holidays are always a really important time. People are busy, they are stressed, and we want to just take a moment to tell them ‘Hey you are important to all of us’”, Vann said.

Vann stated that after the success of the first event, they plan to host at least two more throughout the next year.

As part of their effort to support those struggling with mental health issues, Vann and the We Care team want everyone to know which agencies are available to help: If you or someone you know is struggling with depression please reach out to the Mental Health Clinic, Military & Family Life Counselors, Military OneSource or Chaplains. 

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, go directly to the Mental Health Clinic or to your closest emergency room. You can also reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Above all -- you matter and your Air Force Family cares about you.