Resilience and Thanksgiving

  • Published
  • By Ch. (Lt. Col.) Lance Hoggatt
  • 908th AW Chaplain
Fellow Citizen Airmen, have you noticed that every commander's call and mandatory briefing covers the topic of resilience at some point? Resilience is not just the latest buzz word, but a vital element of mission readiness.

Each of us encounter work stress, relationship issues, tragic loss, or financial set-backs. These impact not only physical and emotional health, but also mission effectiveness.

But have you considered that November and Thanksgiving Day are opportunities to look at resilience from another perspective? The background of Thanksgiving is connected to tragedies the Pilgrims experienced. For example, of the original 102 Mayflower passengers, only 53 survived to enjoy the first Thanksgiving celebration. 

Similarly, Governor John Winthrop officially declared the first Thanksgiving celebration on July 8, 1630, only a week after his son had drowned. Despite living this parent's nightmare, his resilience led him to value the importance of Thanksgiving spent with family and friends. What tragedies are you experiencing today?

The Psalmist said, "the Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."
Citizen Airmen, let us be resilient by offering thanksgiving to our God.