By Lt. Col. Jeffrey Neuberger, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Chaplain
/ Published December 06, 2007
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- I like modern technology, but I haven't adapted all that well in some areas. I wear glasses, bi-focals to be exact, and the combination of bi-focals and computer screens has resulted in chronic neck pain. Frequent typing on the computer has led to carpel tunnel syndrome. I've found that repetitive motions can often lead to chronic, painful conditions.
Thankfully there is a science called ergonomics, based on the premise that tools humans use and the environment they work in should be matched with their capabilities and limitations, rather than forcing humans to adapt to the physical environment.
Research includes studies of work areas like seats, desks, consoles and cockpits in terms of human physical size, comfort, strength, and vision. This also includes physiological stresses such as work speed, work load, decision making, fatigue and all kinds of mental demands. The negative affect of these stresses are often defined as "occupational hazards" which we try our best to minimize in order to maximize our efforts.
In a real sense it is not the load that breaks us down but the way we carry it.
This is also true when we experience psychological, emotional and spiritual stressors in life. The way we carry our burdens will determine the quality of our journey. As a chaplain, I am aware of the common stressors of military life, predominantly the separation of deployment and the affect on relationships. I am also aware of the vast array of helping agencies within our wing, from the volunteer Phoenix Spouses to First Sergeants who provide one-on-one help for deployed family members to the professionals of the Medical Group and the Airmen and Family Readiness Center.
There is no reason whatsoever for any member of our wing to feel a burden is too much to bear because there are many who care and will help carry those burdens....and this gives new meaning to 'carry on.'