"Get out of the house!"

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- It has often been said that everything we need to know in life we learned in kindergarten. We learned how to play, share, help, and take care of one another. 

One of my earliest memories of childhood is hearing my mother constantly remind me to "get out of the house!" 

Now, being the "perfect" children that my four siblings and I were, I'm sure my mother's motives were pure at heart in trying to teach us some lesson we would need later in life. I know this for sure since I heard it every day from her. 

Almost 40 years later, I realize what that lesson was. It's important for us to get out of the house and interact with the world. Along with eating, sleeping and drinking, another fundamental need for humans is to have social interaction. 

However, in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives it is also a need that we often neglect. We're too busy. Laundry needs to be done. Errands need to be run. Dinner needs to be cooked. Before we know it, we've isolated and disconnected ourselves from the very thing we need for survival: human connection. 

In the Air Force, we are a family because it isn't just a career; it is a way of life. Our constant moves and sacrifices unify us in a way no other career field can or does. Our connections with one another are what help keep us strong. It is critical in our daily lives and in dealing with deployment that we remind ourselves and each other to "get out of the house!" 

Isolation separates us from the world, from our fellow Airmen and military spouses, and the inherent support we give to and receive from each other. This is the very support that will help us handle the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and in preparing for and dealing with deployment. 

Here at Travis, we have several ways to help you stay connected and to "get out of the house!" Becoming a Phoenix Spouse, joining a spouse group or taking a class at the hobby center is a way to get involved. 

Even working out at the fitness center, swimming at the pool or simply walking around the neighborhood and meeting your neighbors will help you see your friends and meet new people. 

So, after all this time, I realize my mom was right. As a child I did need to "get out of the house!" I did need to see the world and interact with people. I did need to play with others. 

As an adult, I have to remind myself to do this, or my wife does, since my mom isn't here to give me that gentle push out the door. We can all learn from this and remember we aren't alone. Time with our friends and family is vital for survival. 

Getting involved is the way we prevent isolation, and support and stay strong for one another.