Shirt Tales : Happy Holidays

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- December 25th is fast approaching and 1 January is just a week after that. Wow, what a year we've had here in L.A. SMC, as Chief Crocker would say, "is the place to be." Not unlike any other Air Force installation around the world, we have an important mission, good people and many things to be thankful for this year.

One of the many things we should all be thankful for is being employed by the awesome United States Air Force. The best Air Force in the world, somehow the word best just doesn't do us justice. I'm happy and honored to be a part of something so respected. We all should be, after all, we're volunteers.

I often wonder why someone would hold a job or maintain a career that is displeasing to them. I'm sure everyone has had that opportunity to visit the DMV; you know the place you get your vehicle registered. Now those folks are volunteers also, but one day I ran into this woman who either hated me, her job or both. Being somewhat educated, I waited until I had paid my fee and obtained the plates for my truck before I asked her why she worked there. I believe my question hit her off guard just a little as it took a moment for her to ask why I had asked. I responded to her as I have anyone that I've approached with this type of attitude. I explained that she didn't seem to be happy with her job and that she was taking it out on me and everyone else she had serviced before me. Now that might not have been the smartest thing to do, but as I said, I had paid and had my plates in my hand. I didn't see anyone between me and the door so I figured with a small head start I could probably out run her.

The point I'm trying to make is, as volunteers, why do we complain about what is expected from us? We in uniform, civilian or military, know what is expected. Rules may change from day to day; our bosses may change as well as our employees. But the thing that remains the same is our service to the nation...we are expected to be professional, courteous, on time to work and do our job to the best of our abilities. Why should we complain about that? We are volunteers and can choose to do something else with our lives if we wish.

Think of the unfortunate Americans we have in our country, the homeless, battered, those who have lost loved ones. I can't appreciate and respect someone who is unhappy with their job and career and does nothing to change it.

The New Year is known for the time when people make resolutions...to improve something. I wonder if the lady at the DMV understood when I explained to her that she wasn't forced to be employed there, but we were forced to be serviced by her. It's not anyone else's fault if you don't enjoy your career. It's yours and you should do what is necessary to correct it. I'm happy and honored to be a small part of this Air Force. I hope you are, too.

Help make the Holidays for everyone around you a better time. There are so many ways to help. Share your thankfulness with others. Take the time to know the people you work with. As the old saying goes "it is better to give than to receive." Give a smile, open a door and be respectful. The best gifts in life are free. The gift of being happy with yourself and how you will be remembered are two important gifts. The best things in life aren't things.

My family wishes you a very Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year. Be careful and enjoy yourself.

Shirt...