ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Though Airmen are often hailed as heroes for being in service to our country, the uniform does not shield them from painful life situations such as domestic violence or sexual assault.
It’s that reason Maj. Ayanna Glenn, 78th Medical Group Education and Training Flight commander, is putting her care for other Airmen into action at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.
“I started a support group called C.A.R.E., which stands for Challenges, Advocacy, Resiliency and Empowerment,” said Glenn. “This is for women, active duty or civilians, who are survivors of domestic violence, be it verbal or physical, as well as sexual assault."
The group’s goal is to improve quality of life by focusing on the whole person through promoting mental, spiritual, physical and social fulfillment.
“C.A.R.E. will provide an additional outlet for women to talk about their experiences as they heal,” she continued. “This is important to let them know they are not alone and to let them know they certainly aren’t the only person overcoming these types of situations.”
The trained nurse and mother of three said she has always had a passion for helping people. This endeavor falls in line with her character, and it is even more important to her as a survivor.
“It’s taken me three years to get to this point of healing and where I can help others,” said Glenn. “People still have a stigma around this subject, especially for those wearing the uniform. There’s a mindset that if you admit to going through any of those issues that it will affect your career, but that’s not true. If you hold it in, that can negatively impact your career, because you will be consumed with the trauma and unable to focus on your mission.”
The first C.A.R.E. meeting was held in March.
In order to participate, individuals must be receiving or have completed professional treatment from the Robins Family Advocacy Program or the 78th MDG Mental Health Clinic.
“We had several people in attendance, which included some young Airmen,” said Glenn. “At the end of the meeting, one of the young ladies told me that hearing my story, as a higher ranking person, encourages her to not let her painful circumstance consume her life or derail her goals.
“Of course I didn’t want what happened to me to happen, but it did,” said Glenn. ”And I am using that to help others. I believe that’s my calling. I am using my voice to speak up and pleading with others to not suffer in silence.”
C.A.R.E meets monthly, every second Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Refuge. For more information, email email@example.com.