HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
“It was my first child.”
Master Sgt. Jayson Lyons was on top of the world waiting for the birth of his son, but when the day arrived only six months into the pregnancy, things took on a different feeling.
“It was my first time experiencing anything like that,” he said. “I was scared for my son’s life and I had to stay strong for my wife.”
To cope with this significant life challenge, Lyons found himself drawing on the lessons of resilience he had learned as an Airman. The U.S. Air Force teaches the importance of the four pillars of health: mental, physical, social and spiritual health.
Lyons used all of these pillars to help him cope with the experience of seeing his son in the hospital, leaning on his community for support, grounding himself in his faith and remembering to care for himself so he could then care for his family.
“I got through that by seeking resolve from a higher power and having a really good sense of community around me,” he said. “Throughout my 9 years of U.S. Air Force experience, I went through many different training sessions where they planted those seeds.”
Lyons, 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants section chief, was inspired by his experience overcoming this significant life challenge to become certified to train Airmen to develop a similar sense of resilience.
“They asked me to get training to be a resiliency trainer,” Lyons said. “I jumped on the opportunity because I wanted to share my story. It provided me the opportunity to project the message of resiliency through my experience and give strength to other Airmen.”
Lyons dedicated himself completely to resiliency training, quickly working through dozens of hours of training and classes to reach that field’s pinnacle: Master Resilience Trainer.
These specialized trainers go through rigorous training to earn certification on teaching other Airmen how to create a resiliency toolset, consisting of healthy coping mechanisms Airmen can use during challenging situations. These trainers are instrumental in ensuring that service members are well-versed in using resiliency to cope with challenging situations.
Darron Williams, 49th Wing resiliency training community support coordinator, has developed a curriculum to help Airmen at any point in their career build resiliency tools to help them overcome stress.
“It gives you real, usable tools and it’s delivered in very simplistic, very easy to understand terms, so that no matter what background you come from, you’ll understand and recognize what you should do or how you should react,” Williams said.
Lyons said has seen first-hand how he has been able to impact young Airmen as they navigate the stressors of military life.
“I’ll share my experience in a similar situation or what I would do if I were in their shoes, using the resiliency toolset,” Lyons said. “That’s how I get instant gratification that the resiliency toolset works and is real.”
Lyons overcomes challenges in his own life by using these resiliency tools and now helps others do the same. Trainers like Lyons make the U.S. Air Force stronger by allowing service members to endure through difficult times by using resiliency skills to focus on the mission ahead.