Fighting Jayhawks host Wingman Day to improve connectedness

The 184th Wing brings guest speakers to address the increasing concerns of isolation, depression and suicide.

By Staff Sgt. Alex Brun, 184th Public Affairs

On Nov. 3, the 184th Wing hosted a Wingman Day at McConnell Air Force Base for all wing members to build resiliency through connectedness.

“The front office often gets asked what keeps us up at night,” said Chief Master Sgt. Sid Colliatie, command chief, 184th WG, as he addressed the crowd. “What keeps us up at night is you and your well-being.”

The Wingman Day events were planned in response to the rise in suicide rates across the Air Force. The training was split into three sessions, offering presentations from four speakers.

“We have put together some awesome speakers who are going to share their personal stories on how they handled the adversity that life threw at them,” said Colliatie. “Hopefully these speakers will spark discussion about their experiences and elevate your awareness to those around you that might be struggling and appear to be less connected to their 184th family.”

Internationally renowned speaker, Bob Kittell, traveled from Utah to deliver a message to 184th Airmen to build human connections, keep moving forward and how to achieve happiness despite adversity.

Kansas native and former Tactical Air Control Party, Capt. Tim Finley, spoke to the wing about facing his depression and trauma after spending time in Iraq in 2015. He shared the details of his journey to self-discovery and what it took for him to fight for his life against his mental health.

Chief Master Sgt. Sherry Willard, superintendent, 184th Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, shared the personal story of losing her brother-in-law to suicide in 2017. She spoke to Airmen about how she navigated this healing process and facilitated discussion on how to grow more connected to their wingman during trying times.

Senior Master Sgt. Anisa Shinkle, 161st Intelligence Squadron, shared her own story of mental health struggle and how she has continued to progress in her Air Force career while overcoming anxiety and depression.

The 184th WG Airmen left Wingman Day with tools to deepen relationships, develop awareness to the well-being of those around them and to remain connected to their wingman.