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News > Commentary - Perks and programs for you; some team standouts
Perks and programs for you; some team standouts

Posted 8/19/2011   Updated 8/19/2011 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Col. Lenny Richoux
6th Air Mobility Wing commander


8/19/2011 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- I recently found out that there are many untapped resources entitling you to free entry or great discounts to summertime events and programs through the 6th Force Support Squadron-sponsored programs or through the Information, Tickets and Travel office.

For example, those of you enrolled in the Youth Center's Fit Family program, you're getting a free Fit Family Beach Day Friday. This is going to be a great time, and that's just one of many programs available to you.

Another is the PLAYpass, which is a program that gives returning deployed members and their families opportunities to enjoy free and discounted FSS-sponsored activities. There were about 92 events that were available to our redeployers and their families this month. For more details, please pick up the "Base, Bay and Beyond" magazine from any FSS facility or visit the FSS website.

Many of our children are returning back to school next week, and as a parent who's preparing my own family for the transition from summer break into the school-year routine, I can relate. Please stay posted to other events on base that focus on setting our students up for success.

We're investing a lot into our dependent programs, like the Child Development Center and the new youth programs director position at the Chapel. I hope you're using these great initiatives.

Our deployed spouses and families are definitely on the forefront of the base population we are reaching out to support. We hosted the deployed spouses dinner Thursday and I'm glad that the turnout and effort hasn't waned since we started consistently doing this each month. Thanks to Staff Sgt. Eric Schoenhals for coordinating volunteers and side dishes from the 6th AMW Staff and the 6th AMW Chapel, who joined the Airman and Family Readiness Center with making this phenomenal event happen.

There are superior opportunities that are as close as the beach on the MacDill and as far away as Orlando for enjoying fun entertainment or visiting Florida attractions for free or at a discount. If you havn't had a chance to take advantage of what's offered and your schedule permits, please consider using them before the summer ends.

I want you to take advantage of every benefit the military affords you. With so much public interest currently being focused on resource and fiscal modifications, we must keep in mind that this is not new news to us. We have a culture of being good stewards with what we have. We're familiar with making adjustments and we know how to be prudent and responsible with taxpayers' and our own dollars.

Many of us are very much accustomed to approaching resource management with sensibility. My finger is on the pulse, and I'm confident we'll be able to defend our nation with the resources the federal government will give us.

This isn't a message to prognosticate about what we'll face, but there's a lot of talk and uncertainty looming. We should pay attention to what's being said and evaluate a path for ourselves to prepare for the future.

As the old adage goes, we prepare for the worst, but expect the best. Our future realities are unknown and the old adage of preparation is worth repeating. Preparation in the broadest sense is what we do best.

We are still in hurricane season and standing prepared to react responsibly if weather conditions bring the worst must remain a contingency in our seasonal planning.

Just a few weeks ago we readied ourselves to receive members from our 35th Airlift Squadron in Puerto Rico for a possible emergency evacuation. Fortunately, the storm didn't develop into a hurricane, and the personnel evacuation didn't happen. The exercise in preparation tested our capabilities to receive them and I was impressed with the actions of key players involved.

Hurricane season isn't over, so let's continue our proactive vigilance to safeguard our families and ourselves to reduce the effects if we're hit by such a disaster.

We're in the homestretch of the 101 Critical Days of Summer. I want to, again, reiterate the importance of having a backup plan and assessing the risks of your outdoor activities.

Now on to special shout-outs -- 6th Medical Group's Senior Airman Todd Lange, personally escorted a Japanese citizen who needed care at a local hospital, but was having problems negotiating the language and cultural barriers. Lange took care of him during his lunch hour and made sure that he got the care and service that he needed.

Senior Airman Tara Richardson, a systems journeyman in the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron, maintains compliance, maintenance and acquisition for more than 300 computers and equipment assets valued in excess of $1.5 million. She also volunteers 3.5 hours per week shadowing a 6th Dental Squadron dentist and has completed 18 hours as she pursues her goal of becoming a dentist. She hopes to enroll in the Pre-Dental school at the University of Tampa in the spring of 2012.

I am proud to serve with you in the finest Air Mobility Wing on the face of the planet!



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