When you’re a new airman, you might be overwhelmed with responsibilities, so how do you deal with the stress of being on duty?
If you’re an American airman stationed overseas, you’re in a unique position to do just that.
But how do airmen deal with it?
That’s the challenge faced by Air Force veteran Matt DeCicco, a 24-year-old from Texas, as he’s trying to transition into civilian life.
DeCirolo was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but now he’s a new dad of three.
De Cirolos career was abruptly ended in 2016 when his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Dececillos mother died in October.
“I’m a single father.
I’ve got a young son who needs me to be there for him and my wife is the reason why,” DeCico said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to be able to work in different fields and I’ve had opportunities to help my wife out.
It’s definitely been an adjustment.”
DeCirollo has been working with his wife, Caitlin, as a housekeeper.
Caitlin has had a number of health issues since the diagnosis, including lung cancer.
But DeCipo is still trying to work through his anxiety and his fears about the stressors of serving in the military.
“I feel like it’s something that’s been in my family since I was a little kid,” De Ciaco said.
DeCicos job was supposed to be the pinnacle of his career.
He’d be assigned to the 101st Airborne, the elite infantry unit based in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
It is, in essence, a training battalion for airmen who are in the field.
But that doesn’t make it any easier for DeCio to adjust to civilian life, or his own transition into adulthood.
“There are times that it’s been hard, but I have to deal with them.
You’re not going to be perfect, and you’re not perfect at everything,” De Cirolos wife Caitlin said.”
It’s not a question of being perfect, it’s a question about what you’re going to do and what you want to do.”
Air Force service member Matt De Cicco in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
He said he had to overcome the stress caused by his wife’s illness.
“For a while, my wife was a constant reminder of the fact that I’m not the only one who’s had a medical situation that’s affected us,” De Ceilos wife said.
But as DeCicellos career continued to deteriorate, he started feeling the pressure of juggling multiple roles.
“It’s definitely kind of like juggling three hats, so it’s difficult,” De Coicos said.
When the military was created in the late 1800s, the military had no uniform, no regulations.
In fact, it was not even allowed to have uniforms at all until World War I.
“So that was the first time we had to wear uniforms,” De Caicos father Matt said.
DeCico, however, felt he had enough of a life outside the military to deal in his civilian life as well.
So he started a nonprofit called The American Airman.
De Cirolo said the group has helped hundreds of military veterans transition into their civilian lives.
“The American Airmen is the umbrella organization that provides resources and supports to help veterans transition to civilian jobs,” DeCs family said in a statement.
De Ceilots son, DeCiellos nephew, was also a member of The American Aviation.
“We’re just trying to help him get on the right path,” DeCoicos son said.
A retired Air Force pilot, De Ceilios brother, was stationed at a major base in Guam and DeCicaos sister, Caitlyn, was deployed to Afghanistan.
De Ceirols wife had been diagnosed with cancer.
“We’re working on it,” Caitlin DeCileos said of her husband’s health.
But the pressure that comes with the military is a different kind of burden for De Ceillos.
“The burden of being deployed to war zones and being on base with the troops, the pressure you put on yourself as an individual and as a father to your son, it can be overwhelming,” Caitlyn DeCiles mother said.
“We’ve learned so much from this experience.
We learned how to handle the stress and the pressure and we’ve gotten through it,” Deccicos wife added.