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NEWS | Jan. 18, 2017

Making memories of a lifetime

By Cmdr. William Edenbeck, executive officer Naval Support Activity Charleston

I recently celebrated my 30-year anniversary in the United States Navy. It doesn’t seem that long ago when I reported to my first duty station and started this journey. Over the past couple months I took some time to reflect on my service and how it shaped my life.  Of course there’s been a lot of moves, deployments and new learning experiences. Like everyone else, I’ve missed a lot of family events and asked my family to make many personal sacrifices. However, while it is important to remember the sacrifices, the thing I cherish the most is the people I have served with and the friendships created along the way. 

There’s no doubt, enduring tough times makes us stronger as a team.  Service members often experience long working hours, hazardous and stressful working conditions, separation from loved ones, and more. Because we all have a common purpose, we get through it and in doing so, we become stronger and more resilient. Our mutual self-sacrifice and teamwork contribute to individual bonding, unit cohesion and camaraderie. 

Whether your job is to launch aircraft, load cargo, treat an illness, operate a nuclear submarine or serve a nutritious meal, you are part of a select team of professionals working towards a common goal. The camaraderie between us is unlike any other occupation and the friendships we forge while serving our country are timeless.

I enjoy talking to new service members about their future. One thing I always tell them is to take pictures at work because while they may not realize it at the time, they are making the memories of a lifetime every day.  Whether you are serving four years or 30, take time to enjoy it.  Be proud of your service, invest in relationships with others and take plenty of pictures. You’ll be glad you did.