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NEWS | Nov. 18, 2015

Serving with gratitude

By Lt. Col. Joseph Thomas IV, commander 628th Force Support Squadran

This time of year leading to the holidays is one of my favorites!  Just look at the opportunities to celebrate over the past two months.  We celebrated birthdays for Joint Base Charleston, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps marking different milestones for each while taking time to reflect on our heritage and past accomplishments. We continue to work toward the common goal of protecting this great nation while projecting power anywhere in the world at a moment's notice.  What an awesome responsibility!

Why did you sign up knowing there would be challenges along the way?  Was it for job opportunities, the chance to learn new skills, to further your education or maybe to experience the excitement of moving to a new location and getting to travel?  These are all great reasons to join the military or to become a part of these organizations through the civilian hiring process. 

One of my driving factors was the opportunity to serve others and the chance to be part of a team that was focused on something bigger than just taking care of ourselves.  Over the years, I've realized I can use my talents to pursue a larger calling through the opportunities the United States has provided me.

Veteran's Day gave us time to reflect on our brothers and sisters who have served with us throughout the years.  Today not many people dedicate a portion of their lives to an organization so focused on service.  It doesn't matter if you served for two years or 32 years.  That type of commitment says something about your character, your personal values and your commitment to being a part of something bigger than you could ever accomplish on your own. 

I hope you had the time over Veterans Day week to reflect on your own service while taking the time to talk to someone else about what their service meant to them.  All the performance reports, fit reps and decoration narratives talk about a lot of the "things" we do. However, nothing can truly capture the impact of what serving with a team has on you.  As I took the time to reflect, I thought about the folks I've served with both in the US and abroad.  I have been privileged to work with some of the most giving, selfless and dedicated people anyone will ever meet and I know you have too. 

What a perfect lead into the Thanksgiving weekend.  We are taught to pause during this great holiday to be grateful for all of our blessings.  We have learned to craft our skills, pursue education and develop our critical thinking skills to make strong contributions to the team surrounding us.  I am truly thankful for those who are committed to taking care of others so we can all focus on taking care of each other while allowing us to accomplish the mission. 

This is one of the greatest reasons I am proud to be part of the team that is the professional men and women of the Force Support Squadron.  Thank you to all who serve, to those who are  committed to providing outstanding service and programs and helping others bolster their resiliency so they can serve stronger, faster and smarter than anyone else!  Be sure to take time over the holidays to recharge, thank those around you for their dedication, inspiration and focus on being committed to a great team.  Also reach out to your families and thank them for the sacrifices they make every day.  Sometimes the team that supports us is miles and even continents away but knowing they are there and thinking of us, gives us the strength to focus on the task at hand.  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and thank you for all you do!