By Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley
19th Airlift Wing command chief
My job at The Rock requires frequent travel, and during my recent travels I began to reflect on the sacrifices our military makes for all of us. Less than one percent of our nation serves in the armed forces; this is a huge responsibility for such a few people.
Last week I ran into people from Little Rock in two different airports as they were transitioning to their deployed locations. Seeing them depart from their families and friends to do what their nation calls them to do was a humbling sight. Searching for the right words to leave with those at home station can be a challenge, yet each of them found something to say to encourage their families as they entered the jet way.
Soon we will take time to reflect on the sacrifices of those in uniform on Memorial Day. Yet, to many citizens, this has come to symbolize the start of summer along with a three-day weekend. Although these are good things, the main point is that this should be a time to honor those who accepted the call to stand at freedom’s forefront. If you could have looked into the eyes of our Combat Airlifters as they departed, I’m sure you would have been reminded that freedom is not free.
One of our core values is service before self, and the men and women of Team Little Rock live this everyday all over the world. A good way to evaluate how well a nation functions is to see how well it takes care of its military. I challenge you never to forget that freedom is not free. So as you enjoy your summer break or long weekend, you can rest assured that the men and women of Team Little Rock stand ready to protect each of your freedom.