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NEWS | Feb. 9, 2011

JB CHS, proud to celebrate

By Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Every day at 4 p.m. Retreat sounds at Joint Base Charleston, signaling the end of the official duty day and serving as a ceremony for paying respect to the flag. Immediately after Retreat, the National Anthem is heard throughout the base.

During the National Anthem, service members salute, reflect and celebrate. They reflect on what the flag means to them. What it stands for. They celebrate the greatness of America and the past that made this nation what it is today.

"When you hear the National Anthem, salute and see the flag, it takes you back to where we have been," said Chief Master Sgt. Jose LugoSantiago, command chief for the 628th Air Base Wing, JB CHS. "It transports us to those places where we have seen our Airmen, Marines, Soldiers and Sailors fight. You are celebrating [America's accomplishments], and what it means to be a service member."

Celebrating is one of the five actions of Comprehensive Airman Fitness and here at JB CHS it's not just for Airmen, but for the whole Charleston team.

Maj. Patrick Pohle, Mental Health Flight commander from the 628th Medical Group, and Community Action Information Board executive director, said Retreat stands for pride and honor.

"Though they may be busy at work, I know service members who will bust out the door at 4 p.m. and salute," Major Pohle said. "It shows that they are as proud as they can be."

The five actions or five C's of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness, caring, committing, connecting, communicating and celebrating, don't have a specific order of importance, but Chief LugoSantiago said celebrating ties all of the actions together.

"No matter where you start, I think you should always end up in celebration," he said. "Celebrating brings us together, and when it brings us together we care about each other. The military says, 'we care for our people' which means we have a passion to make a difference. When we have a passion to make a difference, we commit ourselves. Once we commit, we connect with other people. We let people know we are sincere and we communicate our message."

Personal victories are important achievements that all should celebrate, Chief LugoSantiago said.

"A personal victory could be as small as a commitment to going to the gym," he said. "You wake up in the morning and you're tired, but you somehow force yourself, or your wingman pushed you to work out and you did it. That's a personal victory. It's a small thing, but little by little those personal victories make us feel good. Personal victories add up to great victories. When we celebrate it reminds us how good it feels to achieve a goal."

Celebrations and personal achievements inspire more than the individual, Chief LugoSantiago said.

"We need service members to share their achievements," he said. "When somebody loses weight by going to a nutritionist and sticking to a plan, that person is compelled to share. It gives hope to others and people start believing they can do it too. Many people get on board and are inspired to do the same. Personal victories help us reaffirm our spirit of commitment and never giving up."
Though there are many ways to celebrate and goals to celebrate about, people should include others in their celebrations, said Chief LugoSantiago.

"Who goes alone into a room with balloons and a cake?" Chief LugoSantiago said. "Celebrating brings us together with the people we care about."

One celebration that meant a lot to Chief LugoSantiago was the Annual Awards Banquet in January, he said.

"We celebrated success and that was our theme," he said. "I was taken away when the Airman of the Year went to receive his award. The entire room got up and started applauding. It was inspiring. We were celebrating our young Airman, who is going to be the future of the Air Force, and we were celebrating hope that the future of the Air Force is going to be much greater than it is today. That was a celebration."