Commentary

May 30, 2013

His kind is that good

Paula Spooner
81st Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy outreach manager

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — The national news has been quite captivating lately. I’m referring to that astounding discovery of three young women – missing 10 years — in an otherwise ordinary Cleveland suburb. Because abductions don’t often result in such a positive outcome, this particular story was pretty wonderful.

I just can’t help pointing out that this situation, in particular, provides all of us an outstanding opportunity to learn a very valuable lesson.

Consider the comments made by Charles Ramsey, the next door neighbor who helped facilitate the escape of the three women. He described moving into the neighborhood a year before and befriending Ariel Castro, the man who kidnapped and held the women captive for all those years.

When Ramsey was interviewed by investigators, he said, “He was a fun guy. I mean, parents trusted him. He talked to parents. He was just a regular guy on the street. He put on that great mask that everyone thought he was a good guy.”

Later, Ramsey was interviewed for a segment on “Good Morning America.” He responded to the talk show host’s questions in his now-familiar humble, self-deprecating style. When asked whether he had noticed anything unusual in his neighbor’s behavior over the course of the past year, he admitted he hadn’t. He paused, then stated, “Either I’m that stupid or his kind is that good.”

Or his kind is that good.

Ramsey’s comment, in fact, is frighteningly accurate. Castro’s kind is that good. They feel safe, ordinary, even kind. They can be charismatic and genuine and charming. They appear to be the kind of people that you would trust with your car, your house, and yes – even your kids. These are the very traits that make “his kind” so dangerous.

As leaders it is critical to understand that you cannot pick out these people when you meet them. I can guarantee that there are some of you reading this right now, saying to yourself… “Maybe most people can’t, but I can. My gut never fails me. I can always tell when one of my Airmen is lying to me.”

If this sounds like you, be very careful. The folks who stand to perpetrate the most damage often look the best. They are smooth, pleasant, polite and don’t make waves. They blend in. We like them, usually a lot. So, if and when you should look further into a concern about an Airman, don’t allow that person’s stellar work performance, engaging charm, reassurances, regular church attendance, volunteer work, direct eye contact, number of friends, poise under pressure and so on divert you from what you need to do.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

AFSOUTH Liaison Officers: Embarking on a journey toward a promising future

Colonel Alex Voigt has only been serving as the Air Forces Southern Chilean Liaison Officer at Davis-Monthan for a couple of months, but with a history of Chilean LNOs reaching the rank of general and one even going on to serve...
 
 

D-M commander mixes it up with ‘The Morning Blend’

(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey) U.S. Air Force Col. James P. Meger, 355th Fighter Wing commander, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., talks with TV hosts, Tina Jennings and Maria Parmigiani, during a live recording of “The Morning Blend” at KGUN9 Studio, Tucson, Nov. 24. Meger went on the show to...
 
 

Let’s talk turkey: Prepare the perfect bird this holiday season

Whether having a big group over to share the Thanksgiving festivities or it’s just you and the Family, the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving table is the turkey. Guests will graze around the appetizer table careful not to fill their bellies in anticipation of the plump, juicy turkey and all the fixin’s. Most people aren’t world-renowned...
 

 
DoD

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service...
 
 

Officials highlight health, wellness resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin