JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph dormitory residents were treated to an in-person cooking lesson, which was also presented virtually, during a resiliency event Nov. 20.
Taught by Tonya Lee, JBSA-Randolph violence prevention integrator, the cooking lesson was part of a series of weekly resiliency events for dorm residents hosted by Aaron Moffett, JBSA-Randolph Community Action Team and Randolph Community Support coordinator.
“Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Fleming was concerned with social distancing regulations during COVID-19 and teleworking having a negative impact on the dorm residents' resiliency,” Moffett said. “The hosts of our events are either a part of the JBSA-Randolph Community Action Team or colleagues of mine that conduct similar training around the country.”
The events are meant to build resiliency and keep morale high during the pandemic by allowing dorm residents to participate in activities. Each event is hosted by a different instructor and usually lasts from one to two hours.
Lee, a colleague of Moffett’s, volunteered to host the cooking event because she wanted to offer dorm residents an easy, fun and affordable meal to make during the holiday season. She expressed how being away from home, especially during the pandemic, can be troublesome, and said she uses cooking, a passion she took up during her formative years, as a distraction.
For the event, Lee brought a pre-made meal to save time during the virtual presentation and talked Airmen through each step of preparing the seasonal meal of barbecue ribs, macaroni and green beans.
She began by preparing the ribs, applying seasoning and salt. After placing the ribs in the oven, she started cooking the macaroni and green beans. Throughout the cooking process, she took the ribs out and added barbecue sauce to enhance the flavor.
After Lee finished cooking the meal, she let the in-person participants sample the food. She and Moffett then wrapped up the session by thanking the virtual participants and providing information on three more events scheduled before the end of the year, including sessions on Mindful Practices, Dec. 4; Improv to Improve, Dec. 11; and Rock to Recovery, Dec. 18.
“Supporting events like this gives me so much joy,” Lee said. “I was once the Airman living in the dorms, thousands of miles away from home and feeling homesick during the holidays. Resilience helps us create coping mechanisms, and this is something we can rely on when we face a struggle and need to overcome an obstacle. Having events like this connect our Airmen with agencies that can help, and it shows them they have support.”
Moffett hopes to coordinate more events in the coming year.
“We are hoping to do more programming, as long as there is interest,” he said. “We have also extended the invite for the virtual events to dorm residents at JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.
“Coordinating these events and serving our service members that have dedicated so much to me is the reason why I jump, not crawl, out of bed in the morning,” he said. “It gives me extreme pleasure to serve, and thank those who serve. It is just a small way for me to give back.”
For information on upcoming events, call 210-652-0187.