Have safe, happy holiday

  • Published
  • By Col. Donald Halpin
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander
This holiday season, I would like to express my deep thanks and appreciation to the men and women of McConnell and to their families.

All of you make important sacrifices everyday to defend our nation and our way of life. Team McConnell members selflessly answer the call to deploy, or to work extended hours and weekends to accomplish the mission. Meanwhile, family members provide the support that enables servicemembers to successfully accomplish their jobs. Hundreds of thousands of our members are currently deployed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of families await their safe return.

It can be hard balancing a military lifestyle and a family, but that's what I see each of you doing everyday when I talk to and work alongside you. Active, Guard, Reserve, civilian, you serve your nation with distinction.

However, let us not forget that the holiday season can be a difficult time of the year for some of us. Home away for the first time, overloaded with holiday preparations, or missing loved ones, this joyful season can become overwhelming at times. Together as a community, and as a family, I ask that as you continue to take care of your wingmen and your military neighbors. Carefully plan your activities and remain mindful of the hazards that routinely accompany holiday celebrations. Recognize the special hazards associated with the weather changes and driving distances. Take the necessary precautions to protect yourselves and your families and keep an eye out for those who could use a boost.

Leaders and supervisors, I charge you to be especially vigilant. You may see a situation developing that our members miss, caught up in the activities of the moment. You will see that member for who this season is not so joy-filled. Be vigilant; be engaged.

Enjoy this Holiday Season ... but do it safely. I want everyone to comeback safe, sound and ready to start the New Year at McConnell. Alicia and I wish you and yours all the best, and as Tiny Tim said in "A Christmas Carol," "God bless us ... every one!"