Building relationships, friendships that last forever

  • Published
  • By Maj. Robert Rushakoff
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Staff Judge Advocate
This commentary will be my last as this summer I head off to my next assignment at Los Angeles Air Force Base in sunny southern California. With that and the unit compliance inspection now in our rear-view mirror, it seemed like a good time to reflect on this latest stage of my military career and one aspect in particular. 

More than anything else, it is the people here at Vance that I will miss most. It is the relationships and friendships that we build over our careers that last forever. So as we move on from job to job and base to base, I encourage everyone to reflect upon and appreciate all of the different people you have worked with -- be they officers, enlisted, Reservists, government employees or contractors. It is a team approach and I for one could not have done my job without the assistance of others. 

The UCI is now behind us. And even though the "grade" is important and dually noted, it is not the only or even the most accurate indicator of individual and unit accomplishments. I know we did all that we could do. 

We worked hard and put in some very long hours. I am proud of this wing and proud of my staff. So, as I sit here thinking of the words that I will leave behind I came to these - appreciate the people you work with, reward them when appropriate, but most of all let them know that you are aware of what they do and how hard they work. 

The awards are nice, the commendations sweet, but in the end the few carefully chosen words from the right person mean more than any of the other accolades. 

Just like my own family, there were days when we laughed and days when emotions got in the way. There were days that communication seemed impossible even when speaking the same language. And there were days when nothing seemed to go right. 

But when the fires were put out, communication restored and the issues resolved, we were still an Air Force family and a team at the end of the day. 

To my Air Force family - kudos. The Legal Office and I truly could not do what we do without you all. So for my part, I end with this - thank you all for the hard work, friendship and camaraderie. That is what the Air Force family is all about.