SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Thirteen Peterson-Schriever Garrison Airmen displayed motivational words and handed out candy at the North gate at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado as part of the ‘Don’t Give Up’ event Oct. 30.
The event’s organizer, Master Sgt. Erin Kirby-Guanill, 21st Medical Squadron aerospace medicine flight chief, said ‘Don’t Give Up’ served as a reminder to Airmen and civilians that they’re loved and have a support system.
Kirby-Guanill decided to implement the event here after hosting a similar event during her time at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Getting out there and showing everybody we love them and we’re here for them is important to me,” she said.
Kirby-Guanill’s nephew and sister both died by suicide and she said she understands how gestures of kindness can affect an individual.
“I don’t ever want somebody’s family to go through what my family went through,” she said.
Seeing Airmen and civilians smile and hearing them honk their horns in support of the display assured Kirby-Guanill how people appreciate their efforts.
“We’ve done this twice and the first time, a lot of people went to the first sergeants who work in the [restricted area] and told them how wonderful [Don’t Give Up] was,” Kirby-Guanill said. “Someone stopped me in the hospital and said they appreciated us telling them good morning and he didn’t realize how much people need that sometimes.”
Staff Sgt. Lathaniel Leigh, Schriever Chaplain Corps religious affairs Airman, said she was “eager” to participate in the campaign after hearing feedback from the first event held Sept. 29.
Brief interactions with Team Schriever personnel prior to their work day beginning plays a vital role in their psyche as they work to complete the mission, Leigh said.
“It takes a village to raise a child and I have the same mindset when it comes to caring for Airmen,” Leigh said. “My hope is [this] will encourage others to reach out if they are struggling.”
Kirby-Guanill plans to hold another gate event the week of Thanksgiving at Peterson Air Force Base and a holiday event here in December.
“I feel like these events help me as much as they help others,” Kirby-Guanill said. “It’s so wonderful here because there’s no shortage of volunteers to help at the gates. The leadership on this base wants to be involved and show their support and I’m glad we’re able to help anyone who needs it.”