TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE,
-- Born in Poland and raised in Denmark and Germany, Capt. Malika Moretti, 60th
Medical Group clinical social worker, always had a desire to live in the United
a little girl, my dream was to move to the U.S.,” said Moretti. “The U.S. was great, so advanced and so much
more than what we had in Europe. I
wanted to see what was possible. Now I’ve
actually been able to fulfill that dream.”
December 2017, Moretti became the dedicated mental health provider for the 60th
Security Forces Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California.
is what I feel connected to,” said Moretti.
Before her assignment to Travis, Moretti was a civilian social
worker at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, assisting security forces and military police from all
services to become more resilient. Prior
to that, she was a civilian social worker performing the same function at
Tripler Army Medical Center and Scofield Barracks in Hawaii.
security forces (at Travis AFB) reached out and I was the first to volunteer
since I had been with the Army in San Antonio and had some idea of what I
wanted to do with the program,” said Moretti.
Having a dedicated mental health provider proved to be prescient
March 21 after a driver from Sausalito, California, crashed through the Travis AFB main
gate and died
inside his burning vehicle.
got the call at 7 p.m., and five minutes later, I was at the gate accessing
first responders, making sure they were OK,” said Moretti. “I wanted to make sure they would have access
to care the next day or later.”
Understanding the emotional shock of witnessing the
driver’s death, Moretti talked to first responders about some of the thoughts and
behaviors they might experience and the resources available to assist them.
my perspective, her service – and that of her team – was invaluable the night
of March 21 and in its aftermath,” said Col. Lance Clark, 60th Mission Support
Group commander. “She took care of those
who spend their lives taking care of others.
That's the essence of a leader – leaving others better than you found
assisted the gate guards at the scene and on the following day, said Senior
Master Sgt. Erin Rose, 60th Security Forces Squadron operations
only did she listen to them, she came to guard mount the day after the incident
to check on them,” said Rose. “She also did
something that I had not seen before.
She came to the gate a few days after the incidence and watched those
same Airmen work for several hours in the same location where the trauma had
Sept. 1, 2001, Moretti has wanted to serve the military and give back in some
9/11 happened, and I saw the courage and strength of the Americans and how they
came together, I was touched,” said Morretti.
“I’m still touched. I wanted to
be part of this.”
same day, Moretti understood her mission.
decided to go back to school and get my degree in social work and join the
military,” she said.
In 2012, Moretti completed graduate school and participated
in a pilot program with the Army as a civilian social worker embedded with the
military police in Hawaii. She moved to Texas a few years later and
became an Air Force case manager. She
was commissioned in January 2015 and arrived that summer at Travis.
believes that access to mental health care is very important, especially for
young security forces Airmen.
have a lot of 18- and 19-year-olds who are carrying weapons. That is stressful,” she said. “They are exposed to traumatic situations
that people their age don’t normally see – child abuse, domestic violence and
why we are embedded with security forces,” said Moretti. “It’s all about prevention and advocating for
our patients to get them back to what they’re supposed to be doing – being 100
percent. Being embedded with our defenders
allows me to see what they are exposed to on a daily basis.”
she served military members as a civilian social worker, Moretti said the
experience is different now that she’s wearing the uniform.
“My job doesn’t stop
when I leave this office ... security forces can call me at any time,” she
said. “I feel like they are my Airmen,
so I want to make sure they are OK.”