Commentary

December 20, 2013

Be a Wingman’s ‘ghost’ during holiday season

Master Sgt. Jason Davis
451st Expeditionary Mission Support Group

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — I need each of you to be a “ghost” to your Wingman during this holiday season. No, that doesn’t mean I want you to “disappear” when it’s convenient for you-quite the opposite.

Let me explain by saying, “Bah, humbug!” Dickens’ classic Ebenezer Scrooge character perhaps sums up what your Wingman might be thinking right now. It could be “Bah, humbug” about the deployment, home station issues, guilt of not being home with family, or a variety of endless things that are dragging down your Wingman.

The holidays are a joyous period for most of us. The commander and I have been making our rounds to check on everybody. The men and women of the 451st EMSG seem to be in good spirits, and I’m sure most of the positive feedback we’re getting is genuine. We’re also both realists enough to know that a suffering Airman might not speak up about personal problems when the boss and first sergeant come around. That’s where we’re counting on Wingmen to be ghosts.

It was 170 years ago that Dickens wrote about the adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” Scrooge is a bitter man who despises the holidays. One night, he is visited by three ghosts (four if you count Jacob Marely’s initial visit). The ghosts are Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas future (yet to come). As a Wingman, you can take the form of any of these ghosts.

Maybe your Wingman is upset about something that has already happened. It might be loneliness this time of year because of a loved one who passed or a relationship that ended. Whatever it is, your Wingman might just need an ear to tell the story. Be that ghost of holidays past. Lend an ear. You might just learn something.

Perhaps your Wingman’s problems are current. There could be financial issues at home. It could be the first holiday season away from family. We all react differently to different stressors. A situation that might drive you to work out more or take a college course might drive your Wingman into depression and anxiety. Be the ghost of holidays present. Offer to take that struggling Wingman to dinner or the gym with you. Find out what makes your Wingman tick, and get involved.

Nothing is as scary for some people as the future. It wasn’t more than a few days back we all found out about some upcoming force shaping programs. Do you think that doesn’t have some Airmen stressed out? Some Airmen might know they’ll be deployed for big events like weddings and birthdays. That could be a downer too. Be the ghost of holidays yet to come. Talk through the issues and don’t be afraid to walk you Wingman to the Chaplain or other trusted counsel.

“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me”

Show your Wingman that the ends can and will change. Be a ghost this holiday season by appearing to a Wingman in need.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

823rd MXS decreases aircraft maintenance time, saves AF money

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler Senior Airman William Georgen [left], 823rd Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural mainframe journeyman, and Staff Sgt. Nate Mainville, 823rd MXS aircraft structural ma...
 
 

Analog Leadership in a Digital World

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — In today’s military, every service member is a leader, and we all live in a “digital world.” Look around any gathering of people; most of us are online with some form of computer or electronic device the majority of time we are awake. At home station or deployed, portable electronic devices...
 
 
newcomers

Newcomer’s orientation offers useful information

Incoming members of the Nellis community gather together for a Right Start Newcomers Orientation briefing at The Club, July 24 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. During the peak permanent change of station season, approximately 750...
 

 
F35e

Lightning lights up skies over Nellis

An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron takes flight July 18 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighters at Nellis returned to flight July 18 after a runway fire to...
 
 

AF implements career intermission pilot program

WASHINGTON — Up to 40 active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard officers and enlisted members who meet eligibility requirements will be offered between one and three years of partially-paid time out of uniform to focus on personal and professional pursuits under the Career Intermission Pilot Program, or CIPP, Air Force officials announced July 30....
 
 
summer-safety

Grilling: prevent damage, injury by keeping it safe

U.S. Air Force illustration by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler1 Every summer, people across the country get out their grills to barbecue food. Along with this fun tradition comes many potential fire and other safety hazards. A...
 




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