Moody AFB airmen open up at first ever 'Storytellers' event

Moody AFB airmen open up at first ever 'Storytellers' event
Airmen told stories of having a stroke, sacrificing their careers and even the death of a spouse. (Source: WALB)
Airmen told stories of having a stroke, sacrificing their careers and even the death of a spouse. (Source: WALB)
Mari Lugar lost her husband six years ago in a car accident, but remarried a year ago. (Source: WALB)
Mari Lugar lost her husband six years ago in a car accident, but remarried a year ago. (Source: WALB)

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Moody Air Force Base held its first ever 'Storytellers' event on Thursday where five airmen gathered to speak on life as airmen and life outside the military.

Mari Lugar was one of the five airmen and said that Storytellers is such an important event.

"I was 23-years-old going on 24 and they had to tell me that my husband died in a car accident," said Lugar.

Lugar and four other airmen told their stories of trials, tribulations and triumphs at Moody Air Force Base's Storytellers event.

Lugar was among the first to share her story of how she lost her husband who was in the Air Force before she enlisted. He died in a car accident shortly after they were married and she slipped into a depression.

"I understand what it's like to be in a place of helplessness, hopelessness and a dark place where it feels like there is no future," explained Lugar. "Probably the worst news I heard in my life at that point."

After battling depression for many years, Lugar found the strength to get up and find her purpose.

Inspired by her late husband, Lugar joined the Air Force and began telling her story to help uplift others. Her motto is 'you are not alone'.

"If I could reach someone by just sharing my story and showing them that you can actually turn a negative situation into a positive one is really important to me," said Lugar.

Six years after her late husband's death, Lugar has remarried, but she said the love and memories of her late husband will always remain.

"It's mixed feelings, it's a lot of happiness, one staying alive and being alive and having the job of my dreams and the man of my new dreams now, mixed with that I'm still sad because there's this person who was a part of my life who I wish was still around," Lugar explained.

Lugar's advice to all those listening is to live.

"Life is for the living, so if you're alive, take the opportunity to live and don't let anyone hold you back," said Lugar.

The other four discussed their struggles as well, like having several strokes while being in the best shape of their life and living with the incurable disease vitiligo.

The airmen said their main goal is to encourage people that there is life if you are still breathing.

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