‘Excellence in All We Do’: Air Force support is Airmen helping Airmen

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Michael Husfelt
  • 627th Air Base Group wing chaplain
One of the privileges I experience as a chaplain is coming alongside Airman during times of great joy such as promotion, marriage and wedding preparation, birth of a child, receiving an award and ultimately retirement. It isn't hard to see the positive side of the military service and lifestyle it brings during those positive times.

On the other hand, as a chaplain, I am also privileged to come alongside our Airman when joy isn't so apparent. This is often started when midnight calls come in through the command post, relaying information about various events such as medical emergencies, family member death and domestic disputes. Such calls are a regular and expected part of a chaplain's territory.

The last couple of months haven't been quiet ones when it comes to such calls. For whatever reason, the phone has been ringing more than usual. And as I reflect on the common thread, I am struck with a great sense of pride in our Air Force family and the tremendous resources we bring to bear as we do our best to support our members and their families during times of crisis.

I want to spend a few minutes describing the Wingman Heroes from just the last few weeks.

We should be encouraged by the Airman who doesn't just talk about being a Wingman but really goes out of his way to be one. For example, one young Airman came at the close of business to insist on a chaplain's personal intervention because his buddy hadn't followed through with seeking help. The Airman wasn't going to take a chance on the situation deteriorating. He knew his buddy needed help and the risk of making his buddy mad wasn't going to stop him from doing the right thing.

We should be encouraged by the supervisor who knew enough about his subordinate to recognize suicide wasn't out of the question. So he didn't just tell him to go get help, he brought him to the helping agency, literally saving a life.

We should be encouraged by the commander who calls and asks for a chaplain to be nearby when he knows one of his Airman has done something wrong, and is about to face the consequences of his actions, but not alone... on her watch.

There are many more positive examples, but I realize the Air Force isn't perfect. We don't always get it right. But I am proud to say that our culture continues to strive for perfection. From my more than 17 years of active duty service with the Air Force, I can tell you we are a family that comes together like no other I see in the civilian world. When life gets tough for one of us (rather it is a work or personal issue), from one end of the seniority chain to the other, our Airman step up and do their best to support one another through the storm. The Air Force family taking care of the Air Force family. It might not be funny, but it sure is a reason to be proud, "I don't care who you are."

If the McChord Field Chaplain Corps can support you in any way, please do give us a call. Our number is 982-5556. Grace and blessings.