Air Force Family Forges Bonds, Eases Strain
(December 6, 2009)
|ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England (12/1/2009 - AFNS) -- As
Airmen, many times we put service before ourselves to
accomplish the mission. It's what we signed up for, and it's
what we're trained to do. |
Even so, what is more than a little difficult is when
mission requires us to put service before our spouses and
The Air Force does a great many things to take care of
families and is working even now, as it is the Year of the
Air Force Family, to make our quality of life much better.
As a married father of six, I still feel that no matter what
is done to provide better services, housing or anything
else, a parent or spouse can simply never be replaced with
niceties. That's where our fellow servicemembers become so
The Air Force is like an extended family, and the bonds we
forge allow us to feel secure in the knowledge our loved
ones are taken care of while we have to be separated from
them for extended periods of time.
Since joining the Air Force, I've made friends who
understand the strain our families go through and make the
effort to take care of my family when I am gone. When I
moved to England, there was a problem with my family's
paperwork, and I had to move here three weeks early, leaving
them in a hotel room in the states.
My friend and fellow Airman, Jonathan, and his family had
them over for dinner several of those nights to make sure
they were getting good meals. I was also able to tell my
teenage sons confidently that if they were in any trouble I
would have Jonathan come over and help straighten it out.
Victor, another Airman friend, helped my wife sell the car.
While Bill, a civilian contractor with whom I became good
friends, lent my wife a van to use in the meantime and gave
my family a ride to the airport when it was time for them to
Recently, I took a photo of the wing comander giving Tech.
Sgt. Justice Rogers a wingman coin for helping an Airman's
family. I learned that taking care of each other is not just
with my friends, it's Air Force wide.
When Sergeant Rogers learned that one of his deployed
Airman's family had contracted the H1N1 virus, he spent $150
of his own money to provide groceries and medications for
them. He brought videos for the kids, checked their mail,
took care of the garbage collection, transported them to the
hospital, fixed the car, cooked meals and made daily visits
to their home to make sure they were being taken care of.
After he received the award I told him I thought what he did
"You would have done the same thing for your fellow Airmen,"
That really drove it home for me. That's the real meaning of
Air Force family. We share the same struggles, triumphs and
adventures, but most of all we take care of each other.
The hardest thing to give the Air Force can be more time
when we're needed at home, but thanks to our extended Air
Force family, even that can be manageable.
By USAF SSgt. Christopher L. Ingersoll
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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