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Family, community are part of our Air Force!

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Chuck Roberts
  • 90th Civil Engineer Squadron commander
Ever since the creation of Air Force Global Strike Command more than a year ago, it has been very evident that mission perfection is the standard and F. E. Warren has lived up to that standard. Without a doubt, accomplishing our unique mission set is a daily focus placing high demands on our team. Not to downplay the importance of this focus, I wanted to reflect on the importance of family and community.

I'm sure you've heard it before; make time for your family while you are in the Air Force, because when you leave the Air Force, your family will still be with you. I've seen it time and again where folks express they are torn between family and career - each at opposite ends of the spectrum. The middle ground or balance between family and career can be bridged by making your family part of your career. Involve them in career decisions, and prepare them early for temporary duty assignments, deployments and other assignments. If in a leadership position, strive to involve families within the squadron or unit. Change the pattern from choosing between career and family to choosing career and family.

It's no surprise the Secretary and Chief of Staff declared July 2009 through July 2010 as the "Year of the Air Force Family." During his speech to the Air Force Sergeants Association in August 2010, Secretary Michael B. Donley highlighted the great progress our Air Force has made in enhancing support to families as we have become an expeditionary force. He also recognized our Airman's deployments are really our family's deployments. As you go around F. E. Warren, you'll easily see we excel in Airman and family support programs. Whether you visit operations, security forces, maintenance or mission support groups, all are engaged in taking care of our Airmen and their families.

For example, look at our recent Halloween festivities. We had a family "trick-or-treat" at the clinic, then headed over to the Fall Hall Community Center for the haunted house manned by volunteers throughout the wing. I have no doubt you'll see much of the same during Thanksgiving, where you will likely go to any unit and find Airmen and families gathered while sharing a good old-fashioned Thanksgiving meal.

As I close, I want to quickly reflect on how important our Air Force tradition of volunteering is to our surrounding communities. I was recently reminded of this traveling back home to South Carolina for my father's funeral. I was fortunate enough to be raised as an Air Force "brat" at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and was very touched by the folks from both the base and community who attended his funeral. I was particularly touched by one gentleman who came up to me to express his regrets and then let me know he was a member of the little league team my father coached in the Regionals for the Little League World Series.

Like many of our Airmen today, my father volunteered a little bit of his time to coach my brother's team. I hope you too can make a difference while carrying out that same strong tradition of volunteerism in our Air Force. There are many opportunities both on- and off-base to make a difference in the lives of our youth and other members in our community.
If you're looking for opportunities to coach or volunteer, you can easily talk to our youth programs professionals at 773-2546 or contact your first sergeant for off-base activities to find your place and make a difference.