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  • Service: Ask yourself what it means to you

    Imagine yourself asking a military veteran from your hometown, "What does service mean to you?" Chances are you'll get an earful in return. In the Air Force, we have the core value of service before self. However, before anyone thinks this is a lecture on core values -- hold on. There's a lot more to explain. First, have you ever left a store or a
  • Little things make great leaders: Making a difference in the world starts with you

    Making a difference in today's world starts with you. It doesn't matter if you are an airman basic, general officer, retiree or family member. It starts from a simple desire to make a difference in the world around you through actions such as picking up a piece of trash in the parking lot, holding the door open for someone or a simple greeting.
  • Thanks for being mine: A letter to my sweetheart on Valentine's Day

    With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I would use this opportunity to write to my wife, letting her know how much her sacrifices mean to me. After I wrote it, I realized it could be a letter from any Airman to his or her spouse of many years. The names of the operations may vary from Airman to Airman, but the sacrifices our spouses
  • Airmen must make responsible choices

    About a year ago, the Air Force focused efforts on embracing a "Culture of Responsible Choices." The objective is to encourage our Airmen to make choices that produce safe and healthy lifestyles - emphasizing personal responsibility and accountability for decisions made on and off-duty. Furthermore, through a successful program, our people stay
  • AF psychologist: wingman concept saves lives

    I was recently deployed as a psychologist on short notice to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in May of this year. Since my return to Charleston AFB, I have been enjoying time with my family and the cooler weather. I have had many people tell me that Al Udeid is a good place to be deployed if you have to go to the Middle East. I would agree with them in
  • The consequences of one bad decision

    I want everyone to imagine laying in a small metal bed with one eye open trying to fall asleep...frightened someone might drop a locker on you as they get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night. You are periodically thinking of loved ones back home ... reminiscing about past memories and wondering what you are missing out on. You wonder
  • High-ops tempo produces character, persistence

    I came across a "Dear Boss" letter that caught my attention. The author, an Air Force captain, wrote to the then Tactical Air Command commander, Gen. Wilbur Creech. The captain wrote, "Well, I quit. I've finally run out of drive or devotion or rationalizations or whatever it was that kept me in the Air Force this long. Why leave flying fighters and
  • The Air Force family and how to find a Wingman

    As we approach Wingman Day at Charleston AFB, I'd like to share a personal story and some views on what it means to be a Wingman. Fourteen years ago and brand new to Hill AFB, Utah, my husband Gary was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma (brain tumor). After the initial identification, things happened rather fast. Due to the size of his tumor, we
  • Airmen have many ways to meet their emotional, mental needs

    Seventy percent of 1st Combat Camera's missions this year will be in support of the Army. Combat Camera Airmen are embedded with infantry units, documenting house sweeps, convoys and patrols. Their images short-circuit enemy propaganda, ensuring they cannot claim fault where there is none; they highlight enemy tactics; and show the American people
  • Reflecting back upon Sept. 11, 2001 through memories and songs

    As another year goes by, most of us can't help but reflect back to what we were doing five years ago on Sept. 11, 2001. I'm a country music fan, and many of the songs I hear on the radio make me often think back to that day. There is the Alan Jackson song that asks, "Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day? Did you stand