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Posted: May 12, 2017 11:20 a.m.
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3rd CAB learns secret to winning life's toughest battles

Building resiliency

Photos By Sgt. William Begley/

Soldiers from the all over attend the quarterly prayer breakfast at the Chapel on Hunter Army Airfield, May 3.

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The chaplains of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade held the first in a series of quarterly prayer breakfasts at the Chapel on Hunter Army Airfield May 3.

The topic of the first prayer breakfast was communication. 

According to Maj. Tracy Kerr, brigade chaplain, the series was to be modeled after a book written by Dr. Julius Segal, a psychologist and author who for 12 years was the director of the Office of Scientific Information at the National Institute of Mental Health called "Winning Life's Toughest Battles: Roots of Human Resilience."

“He has hammered out five principles that are always present in the life of someone who succeeds a traumatic experience,” Kerr said. “Whether it be wartime, a rape, or any other kind of crisis these five principles are always present in the life of a survivor.”

After consuming a delicious breakfast, the participants said prayers for our nation, our Families, and for those deployed. They were treated to the guest speaker for the event, Command Sgt. Maj. Terri Clavon, command sergeant major, 3rd CAB.

“Life is hard, it’s not necessarily easy. We will all experience stresses in our life. But with communication, you can get through it,” Clavon said.

Clavon spoke from personal experience about a Soldier who was in some trouble for misconduct and under investigation. The Soldier chose to take his own life.

“He didn’t feel he could speak to anyone and share what he was going through,” Clavon said.

Clavon said his unit had to make a call that no one ever wants to make. They had to inform the Soldier’s mother her son was dead.

“She broke down crying when she was speaking to us and said ‘No matter what happened, I would have listened. I would have been there for him. He could have talked to me. I’m his mother and I love him unconditionally,’” Clavon said.

“A lot of times we just need someone to listen so we can get something off our chest. Sometimes that’s all we need to get through that situation,” Clavon continued.

Attending the prayer breakfast was Pvt. William Butusov, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd CAB. Butusov said he hadn’t been to church lately and he felt a need to connect.

“I learned that if I really do need support and I’m really feeling down or depressed, there are people here that will help me with that,” Butusov said.

Clavon went on to say according to the National Institute on Mental Health conversations that two people have are actually mutual counseling sessions where we exchange reassurance and advice and they help us deal with our routine stress.

“Many prisoners of World War II and Vietnam, hostages in the Iran Hostage crisis, and holocaust survivors have stated that communication with their fellow captors was the only thing that gave them the will to stay alive and to keep them going from day to day,” Clavon said. “It is communication that helps us to recognize that others with similar problems manage to survive. Only through communicating with others can we learn that our own distress in the face of crisis is universal.”

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