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.


 
 

 

Technical sergeant promotion release delayed

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Technical sergeant promotion selection results, originally scheduled for release May 28, will be delayed to enable the Air Force to continue to validate extensive system changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS), officials announced. The 2015 technical sergeant promotion cycle is the first to incorporate recent changes in the enlisted evaluation...
 
 

CAA: Informing, developing the force

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Life is full of decisions. Whether making the Air Force a career or using experience drawn from service to springboard into a civilian profession, always looking one or two steps ahead can be a good way to keep options open and set oneself up for success. In the journey...
 
 
museum02

Program Offers Museum Visits to Service Members, Families

WASHINGTON – From Memorial Day through Labor Day, service members and their families can visit more than 2,000 museums in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and American Samoa courtesy of collaboration among the Blue Star Museums, th...
 

 

2015 Chiefs vs Eagles Softball Game

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Massey) The Chiefs, made up of chief master sergeants, and the Eagles, made up of colonels, pose for a photo after a charity softball game in which the Chiefs won 23-12 at Thunderbolt Field, Davis-Monthan, Ariz., May 21. The two teams will collectively donate $355 to...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adam Grant)

That others may live: AFSOUTH heads to Brazil for Search and Rescue SMEE

Campo Grande — U.S. Airmen traveled to Brazil to participate in a week-long subject matter expert exchange with members of the Brazilian air force, from May 11-15, focusing on Search and Rescue capabilities. The Airmen ...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls)

D-M A-10s, Airmen complete training in Slovakia as part of TSP

SLIAC AIR BASE, Slovakia — Approximately 40 Airmen and four A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed from Davis-Monthan AFB, completed a micro deployment to Sliac Air Base, Slovakia, ...
 




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