Display

The Air Force family taking care of each other

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- I have been a member of the Air Force family for over 47 years. That family was there to take me to school when I missed the bus as a kindergartner and decided to walk the two miles to school instead of bothering my mom. 

There were four young Airmen, probably on their way to Vietnam, which entertained four young children and their mother when it took 24 hours to island hop to the Philippines to join their father after a year apart. 

There were sailors who played games with me in the hospital while mom cared for three young children at home. 

There were the NCOs who transformed this dependent daughter into an Airman, and countless others who helped shape her into an officer. There was a caregiver who knew when to call me as my son developed a 104-degree fever with what seemed like weekly ear infections. 

There was the Airman 1st Class who walked my then 6-year-old son to my office because I sent him to school on a holiday. He didn't want him to walk alone along the busy roads when he refused a ride. 

There's the unit that enabled me to depart within five hours of my mother-in-law's fatal stroke. 

The list goes on and on. I am the person I am today because of all the wonderful things that this Air Force family has done for me. 

When I worked late to help someone out or donated unneeded items to the Airmen's Attic, my son would ask me why. He grew up knowing that it was part of being in the Air Force family. They do for us, so we do for them. It is the little things that mean so much that pulls us together. 

That is why I enjoy the 18th Services Squadron so much. It is a way to repay all those people that made my life wonderful and interesting. A simple act of kindness can mean a lot in someone's life, especially when we are so far away from our families. 

The sense of community tends to be stronger at overseas bases, probably because we feel further away from home. But whatever the reason, the more involved people are, the more opportunities can be offered to the community at large. 

One thing I have learned over the years is that "each assignment is what you make it." If you sit home and never get out, then this will be an awful place. If you get involved in areas that interest you whether it is traveling, kids programs, sports, or crafts, then you'll make some wonderful friends and see things that you can only see in Asia. Isn't that one of the reasons we joined the military - to see the world and do new things?