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Storytellers offer Airmen hope

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Storytellers is a base event that provides Airmen the opportunity to share their story, give hope to others and be an example of resiliency.

Many stories told by Airmen showcase how humans can persevere through difficult situations.

Airmen 1st Class Ashteen Macabeo, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator, was a young teenager when a riot broke out in China. She watched neighborhood children, shop owners and friends killed. Macabeo uses her experience to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

“My experience was traumatic. I felt helpless, my hands were tied and I wasn’t able to help people,” Macabeo said. “Instead of hating those who were killing, I wanted to relieve others of their burden. I want to carry other’s crosses and stand up for those locals who were voiceless.”

Through her experience she found her calling and pursued her dreams.

“I joined the Air Force to fight for people’s freedoms and meet more people to share my story,” Macabeo said. “By taking opportunities around me I was able to make my voice heard and have my message received.”

Another storyteller’s experience captured the fears of many Airmen who are sent overseas to combat terrorism.

“I had a really powerful experience while in Afghanistan,” said Captain Andrew Caulk, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs officer. “However, I’m not just telling my story to tell it, I am hoping people take away three things. I want people to know life is about having a positive perspective, being grateful and asking for help. Nobody can handle everything on their own.”

Caulk’s experience overseas taught him to look out for his Airmen both at home and when deployed. One way he accomplishes this is by sharing his story in hopes that it helps others cope with what they’re going through.

“I think it is important for people to share their story so others who are going through something similar don’t feel alone,” Caulk said. “Particularly in the military, people think they’re the only ones going through something, but there are plenty of people with struggles.”

To hear their entire stories, visit the Team Barksdale Facebook page and watch the Barksdale Storytellers event from Feb. 23.