Thursday, October 22, 2009

COMMENTARY>>What does a person in trouble look like?

By Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley
19th Airlift Wing command chief

Can you spot someone who is having a trying time in their life?

There was a time that I would tell you I could pick them out quickly and then be able to render assistance. But the longer I live, the more I realize that people respond to stress differently, and I may not be as good as I thought at spotting warning signs.

Today we will have a series of commander’s calls on base; these come on the heels of losing four people associated with Air Mobility Command in the last week due to traffic fatalities.

So I began to ponder how can we internalize the concept of a community of caring. Three of the four individuals who died last weekend were ejected from their vehicle. You see a person in trouble could be someone you know who doesn’t take wearing seatbelts or personal protective equipment on motorcycles seriously. They could even be a person who calls themselves a friend, but doesn’t have the courage to say you’ve had enough to drink before you get behind the wheel. Col. Greg Otey, 19th Airlift Wing commander, and I had a conversation this week with someone who had the chance to do the right thing in being a good wingman and looked the other way.

Team Little Rock, we cannot be bystanders. We have to be active participants in the lives of those we serve with. As we continue to complete our mission here and abroad, it becomes more important that each of us takes personal interest in the people around us. Ten years ago someone I worked with committed suicide and no one saw it coming. He didn’t fit the profile I had been briefed on, yet he completed this tragic act.

So as we get to know people better, we will be able to see if they’re not themselves and help them work their way back to stability and growth.

Thank you for taking the time to care for those around you as we continue to be the guardians of freedom.

Combat Airlift!

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