Chaplain’s thoughts …

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Master Sgt. Perry Sharp

Struggle of two worlds

by Master Sgt.
PERRY SHARP

56th Fighter Wing Chapel

For half my life, my family and I lived in the mountains of Idaho. Beautiful scenery, a nice home with a creek on the property. Sweet! We also have mountain bikes, motorcycles and kayaks with all kinds of places to explore and check out. And, we do!

Since we are in the mountains we also have no cell phone, cable or internet coverage. It’s a mixed blessing for sure. On the one hand, we’re not bothered by the internet or cell phone. Freedom, right?! But on the other hand, we’re cut off from most of the world. The only thing that saves us is a landline phone, some local television, and a library eight miles down the road. Of course you have to fit in with the library times and hours, but I’m grateful for it, nonetheless.

It’s a life of two different worlds, much like my career in the military. Now that I’m in the Reserves, life is seldom normal. Typically I work a civilian job and can struggle at times to make ends meet. Then an opportunity shows up to serve on an active-duty tour. Fortunately, I get chosen for it. Time to leave my sheltered world and enter into the computer age again. Time to re-learn all the skills that I’ve laid aside for the past four to eight months. It truly is a struggle for me to come back up to speed, yet again.

I work with chaplains as a religious affairs Airman, and my faith is very important to me. I rely on the Lord for so many things. One of the hardest things for me to do is to leave my family. My wife seems to do well as I go away, not a good thing to admit I suppose, but she truly does well in my absence. My two boys have done great in school and sports, and both are working this summer away from home. My oldest son is up at Flagstaff as a senior at Northern Arizona University. I look forward to seeing him a few times while I’m here at Luke Air Force Base. I sure am proud of my family and always look forward to seeing them.

If you’re a maintainer and working on a multimillion dollar aircraft, everything you do is incredibly important. But after work, 10 minutes down the road, your car breaks down or you have a flat tire and there you are working on it. As you untighten and tighten the lug nuts, it’s kind of nice not having to use a torque wrench as you make the repairs. Two different worlds with two sets of Rules of Engagement. Kind of fun when you think of it. We are the world’s best Air Force, and yet we all have our moments as “common Joes.”

In closing, next time you are working with your team, remember how important the work is that you’re accomplishing. Also remember that we all have “common Joe” moments, and that we all need one another’s help in making it through this life. Remembering these two worlds helps me to not take myself too seriously, and to be thankful for the privileges and challenges I experience. To talk with a chaplain or religious affairs Airman, call 623-856-6211.