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.


 
 

 
IronMan_pict

Special Operations develops ‘Iron Man’ Suit

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit is cool. But it’s not real. The Tactical Assault Light Operators Suit is cool, too. But it is real and may soon be protecting America’s special operations forces...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to...
 
 

Lessons learned in protecting social media accounts

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — On a Saturday afternoon in late November, I was informed about a political remark that appeared on my Director of Public Affairs Twitter feed. A staff member called to ask if I was aware of the re-tweet. At the time, I was on leave, out of the state, tending to my daughter...
 

 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are...
 
 

Living in the New Normal

The Military Child Education Coalition, or MCEC, will be hosting Living in the New Normal Institute, Feb. 4-5. LINN-I is a free two-day institute outlining specific community resources, deployment information and practical strategies for encouraging resilience in all children. Some learning outcomes to expect from the training are differentiating affective aspects of children dealing with...
 
 
Training_pict4

Air Force, Army conduct joint service training

U.S. Air Force and Arizona Army National Guard units conducted joint training at a southern Arizona military training range Jan. 20. A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Fighter Squadron, based out of D-M, and a UH-60A Black Ha...
 




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