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  • Tears for a stranger: The most valuable lesson

    I've been in Iraq for a little more than a month now. During that short time, I've already learned several lessons. For example, I learned quickly it's a bad idea to walk around outside in shorts and sandals right after you've put lotion on your legs, especially after a dust storm. I've discovered that almost anything at the chow hall is edible so
  • Do you have concerns about housing at Cannon?

    Between now and 2013 we expect our base population to increase from the current 2,600 total Airmen and civilians to about 5,000. By this time next year, we anticipate about 1,000 more personnel to join us as we continue to build up the Western Home of America's Air Commandos. These tough economic times certainly do not make the already stressful
  • Charisma . . . Often overlooked, never forgotten

     How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you. - Dan Reiland One of the 1st Special Operations Wing aimpoints is to lead and develop Airmen to shape our future Air Force, but exactly how is this done? How do we develop Airmen into tomorrow's leaders? We do
  • Think before you ride

    On the morning of Aug. 17, I had planned on helping someone in need by supporting a motorcycle charity ride in Mobile, Ala. A group of us prepared to leave Fort Walton Beach around 8 p.m. to meet up with other riders from the local community and make the ride to Mobile. On the way to Mobile, I noticed the posted 70 mph speed limit sign on
  • Patriots wheel circles around Commandos

    Total humiliation. Total dominance. Those are not necessarily the words I like to think about when they refer to what happens to my team on a basketball court. However, when I am forced to look back on the Commandos' performance Oct. 2, I don't know what other words could convey the sheer mutilation of pride administered by the Mobile Patriots, a
  • Medical program appreciated

    I have often said the best two decisions I've made in my life were marrying my wife Rachel, and joining the United States Air Force. I never knew how these two choices would one day affect my family. After 11 years in the Air Force with various assignments including a remote tour to Korea and 17 years of marriage, I was deployed to the Middle East
  • Tri-ing to be fit to fight

    Anyone who knows me knows I'm a fitness fanatic. At the same time, anyone who knows me knows that if they come between me and my three daily desserts, there will be hell to pay. I like to think these two aspects of my personality counteract each other nicely. Recently, Eglin Air Force Base hosted My First Tri -- a "short" 200 meter swim, eight-mile
  • Act like you own the place

    The brown root beer can lay on its side still as death in front of a car in the parking lot. To me it looked like a huge cancerous growth on the asphalt as I rounded the corner in search of an available spot for my car. This was no ordinary parking lot; it was a barracks parking lot that was nearly full to capacity. This parking lot was also right
  • Combat public affairs: a day in the life

    DAEGU AB, Korea - What began as a routine MC-130 flight to snap photographs of special tactics personnel jumping from the aircraft into the waters of the Yellow Sea, quickly became a combat search and rescue mission. You see, I was a passenger aboard an aircraft belonging to the 353rd Special Operations Group, a group of members who had traveled to
  • Want to succeed? Then take people with you

    After 28 years in the Air Force, I now look back to how it started and assess whether I've realized what I wanted from the Air Force. As most of you know, everyone joins the Air Force for different reasons. Some join for patriotism, school, to accompany a friend or even to follow in a parent's footsteps. Both of my parents served in the Air Force,