Airman finds new way to give back

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Charles Taylor
  • 301st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Each person has a unique story, and Maj. Jeremy Mabry, 301st Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program victim advocate, is no exception.

Mabry’s Air Force story begins in 2005 after completing the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program at Colorado State University, Colo. This path lead him to becoming a pilot on the EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, and a pilot/trainer on the T-6A Texan aircraft. Those assignments would take Mabry to Arizona, Canada, and Texas.

Yet during his time in the Lone Star State was where Mabry discovered he wanted to change the direction of the path he was on.

“It’s not that I disliked pilot training,” he said. “It’s work, but it’s also flying fun airplanes…So you’re not going to catch me complaining about that. However, it did come with significant time and training commitments, which were away from Fort Worth, where I have a young family.”

So Mabry’s next assignment would be in north Texas in a new role. He was hired for a position as a 301 FW SAPR victim advocate in December 2019 and became a certified VA in February 2020. The move to Fort Worth would allow Mabry to spend more time with his family, while also giving him the change he desired in his career path.

“I was just looking for something new and different to do,” he said. “I wanted to find a different way to give back and help out.”

The transition from being a pilot and trainer to becoming a SAPR victim advocate can be seen as a drastic change, but part of that challenge to learn the unknown is what has Mabry excited about the journey.

“It’s a new world for sure, but it has been refreshing and invigorating to learn something entirely new,” he said. “I have yet to perform my new duties, and I’ve only been through the initial training and can’t exactly speak to the complexities of handling an actual case. The training, however, was unlike anything I’ve done professionally.”

Another part of his learning curve is taking all of the experience learned during his career, and being able to apply those qualities in the present and future. In particular, one major life event changed his perspective forever.

“What really stands out was becoming a dad. I think for the most part prior to that I was one of those secretly selfish people,” Mabry said. “I was nice, I did my job, I got along well with others, but I was still mostly focused on me – my day, my wants. Becoming a dad for the first time opened my eyes to what a foolish way that was to live and interact with the world.”

That reasoning and logic from his experience has helped him understand the responsibilities of his new role better. In the future, he wants to see men take on a bigger role when it comes to SAPR matters.

“I just think this is something men need to get involved with,” Mabry said. “There’s more awareness now about the prevalence of this kind of violence, and that’s a good thing, but obviously more than just awareness needs to be done. I think men need to be at the forefront of that.”

One way Reservists can get involved is by participating in Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities during April. Mabry wants everyone to know it’s not just April when he and other advocates are available to help victims.

In addition the 301 FW SAPR team, the DoD SAFE Helpline is available 24/7 at (877) 995-5247. Conversations with Helpline personnel and SAPR VAs are privileged and confidential and do not require any paperwork or action to be taken if undesired by the individual.

“Hopefully our program – across the Air Force – has its intended effects: the unfortunate few that come to us feel supported, valued and deeply respected,” Mabry said. “Furthermore, it’s our goal to help change any lingering negative cultural remnants regarding sexual assault and foster a healthy and resilient culture of mutual respect.”


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