Don't become a well-rounded warrior during the holidays

  • Published
  • By Col Mike Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
As I write this week's article, we've just completed the ground-breaking for the Gott Road extension and said an unfortunate goodbye to 27 Army warriors for their service to Vance AFB and our force protection mission -- we are truly blessed to be able to see the future of Vance AFB develop before our eyes and wish our Army comrade-in-arms the absolute very best for their future!
As we do most Mondays, my staff and I reviewed the wing schedule for the next three or four weeks and I'm amazed at (a) how fast the year has FLOWN BY and (b) how rapidly the festive holiday season is approaching and the absolute NEED to stay focused on your fitness program. A news program recently quoted a "factoid" stating the average American will gain six pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas -- six pounds!! Team Vance warriors know that a measured approach to the holiday "food fest" that includes being smart about the food choices we make, along with a vigilant exercise regime, will PREVENT this factoid from coming true.
OK, I admit that I very much enjoy the special "holiday treats" that are present during this time of year; and yes, I find them very difficult to pass up. Sometimes out of respect and sometimes out of pure curiosity, I partake in sampling a food item that smells or looks quite inviting. I normally enjoy it very much., BUT I know that enjoyment comes with a price -- paid in full most times in the fitness center on the treadmill or elliptical machine the next day. Using my own operational risk management process, it makes sense to me to partake in selectively sampling the season's best food while knowing full well that a commitment to exercise is what I must do to NOT become a "six pound statistic!" The prize for most of you will be to return from the holidays looking EXACTLY as you did before Thanksgiving -- in shape and ready to serve your expeditionary USAF and Team Vance with a renewed commitment to our mission. I, for one, know EACH OF YOU can do exactly this!
Finally, I asked each of you several weeks ago to remember our deployed personnel in your holiday preparations this year. I offer another reminder to get those "care packages" in the mail soon (cutoff dates to reach our deployed airman are rapidly approaching). Ask any one of our recently deployed returnees what ONE THING always made their day while being deployed --that care package. No matter what you put inside to remind them of home, it's the "thought" that you cared enough to send something to them. This is the most genuine application of "taking care of your wingman" I can think of. Please get them in the mail today!
Enjoy your weekend safely, and think about the briefings you heard today referencing suicide prevention--it's a topic that demands your total effort to help combat. We can prevail if we "take care of our wingman" and get them the help they richly deserve! Team Vance stands ready to help!