An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : News
NEWS | Sept. 5, 2008

MEaL inspires Airmen

By Meredith Canales 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

A new event has sprung up on Lackland courtesy of the chaplain's office. The brainchild of senior BMT chaplain, Maj. Richard Novotny, Mentoring, Eats and Leadership was designed to boost morale for the 319th Training Squadron.

"Everyone who is in the 319th TRS is there for either physical recovery, emotional recovery, to get fit or to transition out," said Chaplain (Capt.) Sarah Schechter. "It's a transitional position, and it's a tough place to be. They're concerned; they're wondering what direction their lives are going. It's all very stressful, and we're concerned they might not be managing that stress well."

Chaplain Schechter, who has been on Lackland one year, said the chaplains see MEaL as an opportunity to lift the morale of the 319th TRS.

The trainees were treated to several acts Monday as part of the MEaL event. Barbecue was served at the BMT Reception Center and yo-yo Steve, an acclaimed yo-yo artist, performed a 5-minute routine for his audience. In addition, Heather Leather, a band led by Lackland civilian employee Ruth Newcomb, put on a concert for the trainees from the 319th TRS. The event was closed by a speech from Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Robert Gaylor.

"This is a first-time event for the Air Force," said Chaplain (Capt.) Chad Montgomery. "The whole purpose is to encourage, build morale, inspire and motivate so they can continue their journey to be Airmen."

Chaplain Montgomery said the event planning took about a month.

"We just really hope it inspires them enough to shed some of the worries and get back to their mission to be part of the Air Force," he said.