• Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Rita Houchin
  • 452nd AMW Chaplains Corps

First, I just wanted to say that as we embark on our inspection this UTA weekend, hope all involved do exceptionally well.


I am assigned to A Flight and this past UTA was very dramatic for me.  As I was packing up to fly home to northern California, I received a phone call that my adult son was in a terrible accident, one that could have shattered or killed him.  Somehow, I drove myself to the airport and while on the shuttle bus to the terminal received news that he was being wheeled into surgery and they would be operating on his brain.  After hearing this, I was a mess all the way to finding my seat on the Southwest flight and not someone anyone would want to sit next to.  Needing to do something, I quickly posted on Facebook “Please pray for my son right now!” I posted these words on my page, his page and a prayer page. I texted the chaplains and asked them to please pray. This gave me some peace and a sense that I was doing something to help while 500 miles away.


After the flight, I made my way to the hospital and found various family members in the waiting room.  There was talk of what my son would be like after surgery and the problems he would have.  Being his mother, I did not want any part of such conversations and exclaimed we must have faith for a positive outcome and with saying that was given a couple of doubtful  looks sprinkled with sympathy.  


The surgery was over and after another CT scan, the surgeons indicated that my son was going to be okay and cognitive testing in the next few days would tell more.  The worst part was over.  My son is in his twenties and is loved by many people, a couple of his closest friends came to visit him and shed a few tears at the sight of him.  After two days, the hospital felt confident that with his strong community of family and friends he could go home early.  Five days after the accident he walked out of the hospital with 60 staples on his lumpy head and he is expected to heal completely in a few weeks.


During those five days, as I posted updates about my son to countless people on social media (he has 1,355 Facebook friends) there were a lot of different reactions.  Some offered prayers and positive thoughts, there were get well wishes, several expletives, a few funny memes, and many questions about how he survived.  Being a member of the Chaplain Corps, I spent time wondering to myself how many people in my son’s vast circle consider his survival to be a miracle.  How many believe that having faith really does  make a difference and that those positive thoughts and prayers worked to help to save their friend?  Do you believe that faith helped save my son?


The Chaplain Corps has a new initiative named #FaithWorksUSAF, and those two words ‘Faith Works” in the title served to comfort me during this ordeal and became my mantra.  The aim of #FaithWorksUSAF is to spread the word that having faith and a community is very healthy - It can be lifesaving.  The Chaplain Corps is happy and honored to be part of your community and no matter what your beliefs or circumstances, we are here for you.