Thursday, November 15, 2012

COMMENTARY>>Be thankful

By Lt. Col. Dana Dane
19th Medical Group Deputy Commander

It has been another busy year for Team Little Rock, and the holiday season is fast approaching. As we prepare to take advantage of some much deserved down time, let’s all count our blessings and “be thankful.”

Be thankful we live in a country with a democratic process that allows us to vote and choose our national, state and local leaders. Our recent elections showcased this freedom to the entire world. It’s just one of many things that make our country one of the greatest in the world.

Be thankful for our veterans past, present and future. I know we just finished honoring and remembering our comrades in arms with formal ceremonies all across our nation, but let’s be mindful of these patriots throughout the year. Please take the time to personally thank our veterans and their family members every chance you get.

Be thankful for our families, friends and co-workers. Their love and support is so essential to us. It truly is what gives us the strength we need to serve. Even though they have probably all heard that message many times already, let’s all be sure we tell them (and show them) again and again. I know I will. I couldn’t serve without them right there with me.

Finally, be thankful for the opportunities the USAF has given each of us. Sixteen years ago I received my direct commission as an officer. Back then I was a veterinarian working in a private practice. I had never served in any branch of our military, but patriotism and a desire to be a part of something bigger than myself, drove me to wrap up my first career and start a second. So, on Veterans Day Nov. 11, 1996, I flew off to Commissioned Officer Training and started my military career at 38 years of age. The years since have flown by and many good things have come my way courtesy of the USAF. The one I’m most thankful for is the opportunity I was given to serve my country as an “Airman.”

Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!

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