From the Top: Variety of programs can help Reservists cope with life's hurdles

Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., Air Force Reserve Command commander and chief of Air Force Reserve.

Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., Air Force Reserve Command commander and chief of Air Force Reserve.

Citizen Airman/Feb. 2012 -- 2012 is shaping up to be a dynamic year as our nation works to balance available resources with national defense priorities. A critical piece will be finding the right mix of active, Guard and Reserve Airmen that will provide the most efficient and effective combat capability. Without a doubt, the Air Force Reserve will see some changes, and we'll continue to provide a strategic reserve while remaining operationally engaged. Though our military mission in Iraq has officially ended, our efforts in Afghanistan will continue, and you can anticipate that the Air Force Reserve will stay busy for the foreseeable future at home and abroad.

With this in mind, it is important to realize that this sustained level of effort may create challenges for our Airmen and their families. To some degree, the stresses we all face have an impact on our mental, physical, social and spiritual health.

A wide variety of programs, services and benefits -- including the Yellow Ribbon Program, Wingman Project, and Airman and Family Readiness Program -- are available to help Reservists and their families cope with life's hurdles. Other programs, like chaplain services, may be available at your location. Your local leadership will be able to provide details, but it's important that you know these resources are available before they are needed.

Our mental, physical, social and spiritual well-being is important for a healthy quality of life and for ensuring we're ready for the mission. It's imperative that we maintain focus on those areas, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is just one organization that provides a system of such assistance to veterans, including those who served in the reserve components.

This issue of Citizen Airman includes information on some of the many programs, services and benefits available through the VA . Though it's tough to summarize everything the VA offers in a single article, you'll get a good idea of what's available along with insights on where you can find more detailed information. Thanks once again for your dedication to the Air Force and our great nation. I'm proud to serve alongside each of you.