Commander's message to Altus AFB Airmen

  • Published
  • By Col. Anthony B. Krawietz
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing commander
It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind, especially with the holidays just around the corner. A stressful day can quickly lead to bad decisions--skip a five-mile run for an additional hour at the office or consume a 1,000 calorie, fast-food meal in your car on the way to an appointment. If not immediately corrected, those bad habits can become the new "norm".

Today, members of the 97th Air Mobility Wing addressed wing-wide concerns during our Wingman Day. Activities and discussions during Wingman Day encouraged military members and civilians to join together in a collaborative effort to refocus our energy on making healthy and safe decisions in a fast-paced environment.

Alcohol awareness, suicide prevention, financial management and texting while driving were some of the topics addressed in the open forum. Accountability, team-building and open communication were emphasized during the large and small-group discussions.

Wingman Day was more than an event. It was a collaborative effort to slow down and ensure we are using and executing the tools we have to continue to be resilient in the work place and at home. It was an opportunity for a diverse culture tied by a common thread (our mission), to come together and focus on team building, resilience, and looking out for our fellow Wingmen.

Today, I highlighted Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Force Cross recipients--they are Airmen like you who on a different day, at a different time, in a different country, performed their duties honorably. That could have been you, performing at the level you are asked to every day to get the mission done.

The United States military is a trusted institution that inspires confidence in the citizens of this nation. You are the reason behind that confidence.

As we approach the holiday season, it is imperative that we take the time to evaluate how others are doing, not just in the work place but also at home. You may be faced with tough decisions. Being a good Wingman entails speaking up when others are fearful: don't allow your friends to drink and drive--hold people accountable for their actions, and help others in need. As Martin Luther King said, "The time is always right to do what is right." It is vital that we take care of one another and keep this team together--it is the greatest team in the world.

In order to help others, you must take care of yourself. You can increase your resilience by being physically, mentally, and financially prepared to handle unexpected crises that may arise. Educate yourself on the resources available such as the Chaplain, Mental Health, Family Readiness and Military One Source, to help you and assist others. Proper planning allows us to make better, safer choices and remain resilient. Watch out for those bad habits of expediency that can become the new "norm".

As you prepare for the upcoming holidays, ensure you are mindful of the tools you have to take action when needed. Our families, friends, and Wingmen depend on it.