Commentary

November 15, 2013

Three little words: Service Before Self

Linda Welz
452 AMW public affairs

Bill Evans, WWII veteran

This Veteran’s Day I had the opportunity to see first-hand, and live, one of the U. S. Air Force’s core values; Service Before Self. I had the privilege to take my 86-year-old step-father, and WWII veteran, Bill, out for the day.

My mother had to make the very tough decision to place him in a permanent living facility for memory care a couple of months ago. Having been diagnosed with dementia several years ago, his memory and ability to care for himself has diminished greatly. He doesn’t always understand why he is there, which is sad. But, sometimes he does understand, which is equally as sad.

One of the employees there, Chris, has a passion for serving this great generation and does it selflessly. It is a joy to watch him interact with the residents there. He speaks to them with kindness and dignity, no matter their condition. He spends days and evenings doing a job that he loves. He understands that these residents are people who have stories that they can no longer tell. He truly displays Service Before Self.

On Monday, I called ahead to let Chris know that my brother and I would be taking Bill out for a free Veteran’s Day haircut and some lunch. He made sure that Bill was showered and dressed nicely, ready for the outing when we arrived.

When I walked up to Bill and asked him if he was ready to go, he smiled and said, “Let’s go!” So, my brother and I wheeled him outside and transferred him from his wheel chair to the car. Thankfully, it was easier than I thought it would be. I simply had him hug me while we helped him stand up, then Bill and I ‘danced’ step-by-step to the car door so he could sit down. Bill was quite the dancer back in the day! This ‘dance’ was reversed when we arrived at the salon for his haircut.

The cosmetologists at the salon were providing free haircuts to veterans all day long. They were donating their time for those who have served. Bill noticed all the people coming and going. The lady who cut Bill’s hair let him stay in his wheelchair during the process. She took extra care to ensure he was okay during the cut. She truly displayed Service Before Self.

Next we went to a lunch spot that had been a favorite of Bill’s and my mom. I cut up his hot dog so it was easier for him to eat and shared my frozen yogurt with him. Bill was happy and pointed out the birds hopping around. Seeing him happy, made me happy.

When we arrived back at his new residence, I spent some time making sure he was comfortable before I had to leave. It’s never easy to say good bye, but when Chris is there, it makes it easier to leave. We had had a good day and although he seemed tired from the outing, he was happy to have gone. I wished him a Happy Veteran’s Day. Service Before Self – my duty, my honor.




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


 
 

 
(Official U.S. Air Force photo)

Knowing the facts: National American Indian Heritage Month

(Official U.S. Air Force photo) Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker was the highest ranking officer of Native-American ancestry and the first general lost in action during World War II. November is National American Indian Heritage Mo...
 
 

VA implements second phase of Choice Card Program

Washington, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it began mailing Veterans Choice Cards on Nov. 17 to Veterans currently waiting more than 30-days from their preferred date or the date that is medically determined by their physician for an appointment at a VA facility. “VA continues to focus on implementation...
 
 

Red Cross shares top safety tips for Thanksgiving

Millions of people will travel to spend their Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones and the American Red Cross has steps they can follow to help make sure they have a safe trip. The holiday is also a time when cooks spend a lot of time in the kitchen and there are tips they can use...
 

 

Officials Highlight Health, Wellness Resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON – 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 Sgt. Maj....
 
 
HBI

Tips for getting enough healthy protein in your diet

At a time when over a third of American adults are obese and childhood obesity rates are rising exponentially, more Americans are looking for meat alternatives in their dining choices. In fact, close to 16 million Americans are...
 
 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would...
 




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