AU, 42 ABW commanders send holiday message



Commentary by Lt. Gen. David S. Fadok Air University commander and Col. Brian M. Killough, 42nd Air Base Wing Commander
Air University


12/16/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Al  -- During this holiday season, we reflect on all the good work everyone at Maxwell AFB has accomplished in 2011. We achieved successful results on our compliance inspection in September. We continue to flourish in executing our daily missions, which include producing the future as the intellectual and leadership center of the Air Force and ensuring our Airmen are combat-ready when they deploy across the globe. We continuously strive to prove this is "The Best Hometown in the Air Force."

As the year winds down and we take part in holiday activities and enjoy time off, keep in mind the theme of this season's Air Force safety campaign - "Safety never takes a holiday." For the past six years, Maxwell- Gunter has joined Air Education and Training Command in fatality-free holiday seasons.

Success like that doesn't just happen. It takes a concerted effort that begins with commanders taking an active role and emphasizing smart risk management. It ends with all of our Airmen and their families exercising sound judgment in all that they do. An active wingman culture in which our Airmen watch out for one another will always be a key factor in preventing mishaps.

During our Wingman Day sessions Dec.15, we emphasized stress management, because for some the holidays can be a stressful time. Effectively dealing with that stress starts with understanding its triggers. Accepting you can't do everything and everything may not go exactly as you plan can go a long way toward alleviating holiday stress.

But for those feeling more than the holiday blues and who may be experiencing depression, we urge you to reach out. Reach out to a friend, a co-worker, your supervisor, a chaplain. Helping agencies like mental health and the military family life consultant are available 24/7. Support is there for you. At the same time, the holidays are a period when commanders,  first sergeants and supervisors should be especially attuned to what's happening with our Airmen.

Throughout the holidays, we ask you to keep in mind all of our deployed service members and their families. While our military members and their families are resilient, being apart for the holidays is especially difficult, and even the smallest gesture of a phone call may provide tremendous support.
 
As we prepare to turn the calendar to 2012, we look forward to serving together with you and tackling the challenges we'll face in the new year. We're glad we're on your team and you're on ours.

To all of our Airmen, we appreciate the dedication to duty you show every day, and we appreciate the sacrifices you and your families make in serving our nation. May you have a joyous holiday season.