What I’m Thankful for this Thanksgiving

  • Published
  • By Col. Jerry Martinez
  • 62nd Airlift Wing commander
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving and some get to enjoy a well-deserved four-day weekend (and mouth-watering turkey) with their families and friends. Traditionally, this is also the time of year when we contemplate what we're thankful for and this year is no exception. Team McChord has much to be thankful for ...

We are thankful for the "Excellent" teamwork displayed among our Airmen, the same teamwork that impressed the Air Mobility Command Inspector General Team during this year's Operational Readiness Inspection.

In the midst of a demanding operations tempo, you were prepared and focused making this ORI a success. No matter if active duty, Reserve, National Guard, civilian or a family member or friend, together we made Combat Airlift a success. Thank you for the part you all played in supporting the ORI and the part you all play in supporting our country.

We are thankful for the hard work put into a successful summer safety campaign that drove mishaps down from last year. Now especially is the time to put those summer safety precautions to practice with the beginning of the rainy season and freezing temperatures.

If you're traveling this weekend, ensure your car is ready for the trip and get plenty of sleep. The arrival of winter has brought with it new hazards so ensure to plan for it. Don't forget your tire chains. Beware of icy roads and bad weather. I want everyone to return safe and sound after the holidays.

We are thankful for the safe return of many Airmen from all our organizations. From security forces and maintenance to aircrew and medics, we have been blessed with the safe return of our folks from the war on terror. All organizations on base have joyously welcomed home their brave Airmen, and we all give many thanks for that.

Unfortunately, not everyone will have the chance to relax this Thanksgiving. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the men and women who are currently deployed. Thank you to all our deployed teammates for your dedication to the mission and for making sacrifices, especially during the holidays, to keep our nation safe.

And finally, we are thankful for our family and good friends. I wish I could be home to tell them how much I'm thankful for their support in person, but like the more than 800 personnel deployed with me, I can't be home with them this Thanksgiving.

If you know one of our McChord team members who are deployed, show them your thanks by looking out for their families. The holidays can be especially tough for families who are missing someone and it only takes a few minutes to see how they're doing or offer them a hand. Remember, to look out for each other and our motto, "Airmen helping Airmen."

So, whether you're relaxing while watching a football game, braving the cold on the slopes or standing guard in the Middle East, I hope you'll take a moment with me to consider your blessings in life. Thanks for everything you do to ensure our nation enjoys the benefits of liberty, security and prosperity. If you are able to get some time off, enjoy your break ... safely of course.

Happy Thanksgiving Team McChord! I am proud of all of you!