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Rekindle that holiday spirit

  • Published
  • By Col. Lenny Richoux
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing commander
We have reached that time of year again. We have reached that special time that used to give you butterflies in your stomach when you were seven years old. The time when you just had a couple days off for Thanksgiving, and the next major holiday is a magical one. And while toys were your every thought, you still knew the importance of sharing holidays with loved ones.

This year I challenge you to rekindle the spirit of that seven year old, and find the magic of the holidays. No matter if you're living in the dorms, or with a big family in the middle of Tampa, now is a great time to celebrate. By no means should your celebration have you break the bank. That would miss the point. I want you to take just five minutes each day to celebrate the holidays. That could be a phone call to someone you haven't spoken with in a long time, picking out a tree with your family or even enjoying a cup of hot chocolate outside on a cool evening all by yourself. The point is to take a little time for yourself and celebrate all the reasons you are thankful. This is a great time to connect with your spirituality regardless of your religion.

One thing I'm thankful for is the opportunity to stand beside each of you every day to defend this great nation. Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Birmingham, Alabama to one of our two geographically separated units. I had an amazing time with our brothers and sisters in arms, and I'm happy to report they are doing incredible things there in Alabama.
We are also doing amazing things here as well. Have you noticed all the new facility openings happening around base? Last week CENTCOM officially opened the doors to their brand new building and the Force Support Squadron reinvented several new facilities. If you get a chance, you should go take a look for yourself at Seascapes, the bowling alley, or even Fairways restaurant at our golf complex.

Speaking of amazing things, I've known for quite some time that we have the best Communications Squadron in the world, and now I can prove it. Recently, they were recognized as the best large Communications Squadron in Air Mobility Command, with many communicators taking home individual awards. Ernest Thompson, Richard Black, Senior Airman Steven Aurthur, and Senior Master Sgt. David Cox each won in the respective categories. Thank you Comm Squadron for a job well done.

While the Comm Squadron was proving to AMC they were the best, the rest of you showed America you are ready for any contingency via "Operation Global Thunder." You guys nailed this exercise, and there were so many that stood out, like all of our superior performers: 2nd Lt. Scott Heinlein, Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Marshall, Senior Airman Kyle Bradford, Staff Sgt. Nicholas Chase, Staff Sgt. Willie Hayes, Senior Airman Daniel Iannarelli, Senior Airman Ryan Wertzema, Airman 1st Class Zachary Tierney, Master Sgt. Jesse Lopez and Tech. Sgt. Jerrod Klein, 1st Lt. Timothy Gaydosh, Chief Master Sgt. Doug Earle, Senior Master Sgt. Jason Tiek, and Master Sgt. Shawn Chelette, Tech. Sgt. Alan Culpepper, Lt. Col. (Dr.) Christine Stahl, Master Sgt. James Glickman, Thomas D. Sanders, 2nd Lt. Jennifer Krutka, Master Sgt. James Register, Staff Sgt. Robert Harper, Senior Airman Michele Stroud, Staff Sgt. Luis Vega, Tech. Sgt. Caleb D. Bennett, Tech. Sgt. Kraig Waters, Master Sgt. Alejandro Ray, 1st Lt. Andrew Lee, Maj. Leslie Picht, Maj. Darren Spencer, Capt. Russell Healy, 1st Lt. Tyler Allerding , Airman 1st Class Leslie Davis and Airman 1st Class Stephen Cross.

I don't think I can ever remember having so many outstanding performers for one exercise. Thank you for taking care of business, when it counts the most.

Another huge performance came from the 310th Airlift Squadron's Staff Sgt. Jamilya Jackson, who is a passport monitor. She consistently takes care of our mission partners, and spends many off duty hours improving her work center through painting and laying carpet. She also filled the NCOIC vacancy for one month keeping the squadron tracking at a 99 percent mission reliability rate. Great job Jamilya.

It's an exciting time to be at MacDill and you are truly the finest Air Mobility Wing on the Planet!