As a leader, I would like to take this opportunity to honor people who actually do things rather than those people who talk about doing things because if we concentrate our limited resource, time, and effort solely on the future rather than the past and present then we may be allowing our personal achievements and service to be forgotten. Consciously speaking, proactive leaders would not condone the aforementioned philosophy of forgetting a member's tour of duty and I am confident they wouldn't intentionally emulate it in their daily actions either. Therefore, this leadership article is a sincere salute to subordinates, peers, and superiors regardless of their job, duty status, or length of service.
Everyone assigned to this Wing plays a critical part in supporting our base, its operations, and mission and fortunately many of you do this without regards to getting any form of recognition such as an award, a coin, a glowing evaluation or a decoration. It may not be that you haven't earned these things but because you treasure a higher intrinsic value only received from the sense of the accomplishment of serving our Nation and doing so in the best military known to man. Yes, five simple words sum it all up --The United States Armed Forces.
There have been many sacrifices you and your family have made to allow you the opportunity to serve in garrison and in war zones. As you and I both know, the pay, allowances, and benefits do not fully capture the importance of your contributions nor do they fully compensate you for the impacts your service has on our Nation's ability to remain free and a sovereign country. Moreover, many of you have missed the birth of your children, weddings of close friends and love ones, while others missed important dates/events such as birthdays, graduations, and reunions. Whatever the reasons for you missing these events many people may not see them as significant but they are to me as I appreciate you and your faithful service. For those who don't understand why you serve, they should understand it is simply so they, their families, and others can enjoy these events and opportunities that you regularly missed. Your service allows them the liberty to attend and to do so in a secure city, town, or state of their choice in a free country.
Your story and reasons for serving may go untold in many corners of this world but your patriotic actions and your selfless service to protect our way of life are never forgotten and never will be forgotten. Just remember heroes generally do not have to speak to be heard, normally they don't tell their own story because their actions, sacrifices, and tears are captured and manifested in the most enduring and patriotic image of our Nation -- the American Flag.
Yes, the United States' Flag embodies your struggles, shares your pain, and witnesses the good and the bad times...and yet it still endures as our Nation's symbol of peace, liberty, and democracy -- same must and will be said about your service!
Many people jokingly say "BIG" things come in "SMALL" packages, an absolute true statement when referencing your service. Your paychecks may be little, your allowances and benefits are modest, and you may only spend a small amount of time with your families...but believe me, it takes a brave person with a "BIG" heart to voluntarily put his/her life on the line for the betterment of the American people...You do it daily!
Thank you for your service, I notice/appreciate it, and so do the vast majority of men and women of our grateful nation.