Commentary

November 26, 2013

This Thanksgiving focus on what really matters

Commentary by Chief Master Sgt. C. Lipphardt
62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. — If you want the perfect Thanksgiving, remember this: what time you eat doesn’t matter, the table setting doesn’t matter, who wins the football game doesn’t matter, and most importantly, the food doesn’t really matter. What matters are the shared moments with our friends and families, and the warm memories that will live on in those around us. Very often, these memories are born in the ashes of turkey failure and side dish catastrophes.

Think about your most memorable Thanksgivings. If you’re like me, not a single “Norman Rockwell” holiday comes to mind. Actually, some of my most treasured memories are of Thanksgiving imperfections, calamity and complete culinary failure.

The two Thanksgivings I’m most fond of were far from “perfect.” During the first, I was young and a winter storm knocked out power all over the city. I’m sure my grandmother had visions of a flawless family meal for 20 people earlier that morning. However, when we all went to bed that night, her creativity with candles, heating cans, potted meat and leftovers from the fridge left an indelible mark on all of us.

My second came while deployed to Afghanistan in 2009. Every soul there longed to be home with his or her family, but our camaraderie would help get us through the emptiness and create a lifelong memory. There were 150 Americans at our location but we were on a NATO base and Thanksgiving wasn’t a planned holiday. If we wanted a Thanksgiving, we had to make it ourselves, from scratch.

And we did.

Unfortunately, to our dismay, the European ingredients resulted in “unique clones” of our recipes. Everybody brought something to the table that their grandmother probably wouldn’t have fed to the dog, but the laughter and shared experience is something none of us will forget.

The American writer Albert Pike once wrote, “What we have done for ourselves alone, dies with us; what we have done for others and the world, remains and is immortal.”

Remember this: what’s on your table isn’t nearly as important as what’s sitting around your table. The human bonds of friendship are what we remember most, not how good the turkey tasted or whether the stuffing was just like Grandma’s. A dose of failure mixed with a dash of resilience and a big smile is the real recipe for Thanksgiving perfection.




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


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Davis-Monthan Airman helps Tucsonan

One weather forecaster’s self-aid buddy care training quickly resurfaced when she witnessed a car accident outside the gates of Davis-Monthan. Senior Airman Amanda Boone, 355th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster, ...
 
 

U.S. Air Force to kick off COOL program

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) — The Community College of the Air Force officially launched the Air Force Credentialing Opportunities On-Line program March 16. Air Force COOL is a pathway for enlisted Airmen to earn industry recognized professional certifications and licenses to enhance their active-duty work and to prepare them as they transition to...
 
 

Military leads the way in equal opportunity

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — What does it take to change a nation? What force has the power to move millions of people in their fundamental views of the world? For Christopher Daniels, a U.S. Air Force colonel, that answer is simple: leadership. In his words, “The true agent of change is true leadership.”...
 

 

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders to receive Congressional Gold Medal

(U.S. Air Force photo) On April 18, 1942, Airmen of the U.S. Army Air Forces, led by Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, carried the Battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire with a surprising and daring raid on military targets at Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, and Kobe. This heroic attack...
 
 

AFAF gives all Airmen a chance to pay it forward

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — It’s Sept. 12, 2005. Senior Airman Dennis Hutchison is recovering from a hard day’s work on the flightline of Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia, when he receives a call that tragedy had struck. “I got a notification from my family that my father had passed away,” Hutchison said. “I immediately contacted...
 
 

Rocketry Club ready to take flight this weekend

TUCSON, Arizona – On March 28 and 29, hundreds of rockets will soar into the Tucson sky at Desert Heat 2015. Rocket enthusiasts from around the Southwest will gather for this annual two-day rocketry event, where there’s no cost to watch, and kids always fly free. The rockets that will be launched vary in size...
 




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