Looking Back

  • Published
  • By Capt. Denis Gueu
  • 11th Wing Head Chaplain
There's an old blues song that says "There's no future in the past." Many live otherwise, wanting to revisit or even return to the past. There are so many times when one has new opportunity all around, only to live with regret over missing the past. While it is good to hold on to fond memories and even reminisce from time to time, one must keep in mind that time is not stagnant. Change is opportunity. Sometimes it is painful to uproot from a base that seems to be a good match or to leave a geographical part of the country that is close to family. It is normal to struggle with issues of change and being uprooted.

People who embrace the present seem to be the most happy and fulfilled. They don't seem to have as many complaints, worries or fears. They aren't always talking about how good it was somewhere else, but are generally easy to be around and more attuned to the people and situations around them.

Living for the past is an issue that humans have had to grapple with throughout history. Take for example the Israelites. They were delivered from slavery and were being delivered into the Promised Land when they began to seriously grumble and complain. They even schemed to return to Egypt and to a life of slavery, all for the comfort of the familiar.

Life in general, changes with time. Sometimes, one will have the opportunity to return to a familiar place and hopefully find it as endearing as ever. Getting to know people, visiting new places and trying new experiences can make life more endearing and appreciative.

The military community revolves around changes--a process that all military families are familiar with. The military active-duty parents have endured and continue to adapt to the myriad of changes. The non-military spouse has learned to hang in there and help teach the children adaptation.

There are many helping agencies and support services that help military members and their families deal with change. I work for one of those agencies, the Chaplain Corps. The Chapel Corps continues to provide tremendous support to our military active duty and their families and the civilian population--while providing a myriad of crisis intervention, marital and premarital counseling, bridging and salvaging marriages, counseling in suicide prevention, stress management counseling, spiritual mentoring and resiliency, advising commanders in moral/morale, ethical and spiritual affairs--and many more.

All communication with the Chapel Corps is 100% confidential and protected by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. During duty hours the base chaplain can be reached at (301) 981- 2111. For information about the Chapel Corps and other support agencies within the National Capital Region, visit Air Force District of Washington's resiliency page at http://www.afdw.af.mil/library/resiliency/index.asp.