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.


 
 

 

Separated but not alone

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “how am...
 
 

Mishap prevention 101

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Here is something I would like to share with my readers. This information is geared toward supervisors, but we all play a part in the mishap prevention program, and when we know better, we tend to do better. I will discuss a few things supervisors should do within their...
 
 

Nellis celebrates successful Vacation Bible School

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The Nellis Chapel has done it again with the 18th and best year of Vacation Bible School ever. This year’s theme of Science, provided by Gospel Light’s Son Sparks Labs, proved to be engaging and fun for all 192 children and volunteers. Discovering the light of God in a...
 

 

The unseen leader

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — Over the years, I’ve seen many leaders come and go. The ones I admired, I took note of the traits I wished I had, as well as the ones I already possessed. It took me a long time to realize some of my personal and professional weaknesses were...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

F-35A plays role for first time in USAFWS Integration Phase

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler The second F-35 Lightning II assigned to the U.S. Air Force Weapons School lands at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb. 18. The integration of the F-35 into the syllabus will ...
 
 

I am an American Airman

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — I am an American Airman … at least that’s what the Creed says. But what do I say when people ask what I am; geo-spatial analyst, intelligence analyst, command chief, Airman …  At what point do I stop identifying with my Air Force Specialty Code, career field, or duty position and...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>