Wing commander holiday message

  • Published
  • By Col. Richard Klumpp, Jr.
  • 71st Flying Training Wing commander
The following is a holiday message from Col. Richard Klumpp, Jr., 71st Flying Training Wing commander:

'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through Vance Base
The workload had slowed to a less frantic pace.
The Wing Staff planned policy and tried to refine it;
In hopes the commander would actually sign it.

The students were nestled all snug in their Q's,
Dreaming of stand-ups and trying to catch clues.
And the Execs at their desk and I at mine too,
Were reviewing a year that seemed like it flew.

When out on the ramp there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The sun on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Told me CSC still had some plowing to go.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a shiny new Texan, trying to steer.

With a wizened old driver, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it might be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles, our Colonels they came
And I whistled and shouted and called them by name!

Now Gillis! Now Graham! Now Troyer and Solomon!
The year that we've had has been quite a good one!
You might even say it will go down with the greats;
Now that we've opened the new Hairston Gate!

As to Baghdad and Qatar our deployers did fly,
Then back to the States without blinking an eye.
So up to my office, the Colonels they flew,
To thank Team Vance for all that you do.

And then in a twinkling, I heard in the hall
Our new Command Chief, greet one and all.
As I drew in my head and was turning around
Into the foyer the Colonels came with a bound.

They spoke of the year, how you'd blown them away!
How each of you stepped up and each led the way.
The awards that you won, at the Command and the NAF
Made them so proud, I just had to laugh!

Their eyes how they twinkled as they talked of the rains
That just kept on coming, making it harder to train!
To a person, each one of them said they were struck
By the way you stepped up--how you embraced the suck!

They recounted the stories of Faipapalooza;
How you wowed General Looney as the best that he'd seen.
Then General Halter came calling and you all did your thing
To make sure he knew why we're his best Wing!

They spoke lots of words of how lucky they were
To stand up beside you as you selflessly serve.
Your nation is honored by all that you do
Both home and abroad for the red, white and blue.

As they thought of the things you've accomplished this year,
Your excellence shined through, both crystal and clear.
But a New Year brings new challenges to best
So on our old laurels, we can no longer rest.

As they readied to leave, the team gave a whistle
And out the door they all flew like the down on a thistle.
But I shouted after them as we neared New Year's Day,
Happy Holidays to all and to all "Lead the Way!"