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  • Mandatory perspective, brought to you by COVID

    Work-life balance is not unique to the military, neither is it a new one. As far back as the 1970s, Harry Chapin wrote and performed perhaps his most famous song, “Cat’s in the Cradle”. In the song, he tells the story of a father who is always too busy to play with his young son. Finally, as the man becomes older and has the time the boy no longer wants to spend time with his father. The boy is now grown, with a family of his own, and is far too busy himself. Probably the most interesting side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic over these many months has been the re-arranging of our lives, which has caused us to look at work-life balance in a new way. For many, work has been literally brought into our homes. For others who must keep the mission going, we are now acutely aware of what is mission essential; we understand that not everything is a priority.
  • Flowers are red

    I have a 45-revolutions-per-minute vinyl record of “Flowers are Red” by Harry Chapin that hangs in a frame above my desk. In an office otherwise filled with mementos that span many of my previous assignments, it is the most significant thing. During childhood, my father would often play and sing this song to me and my sisters. My father couldn’t carry a tune, so that part is best not talked about too much, but it was the message contained in the lyrics that has stayed with me and guided me always.
  • Resiliency matters

    Remember, everything is not about you! It’s about the Airmen and families around you more than you think … and they’re watching and feeding off of you. The reason I laced my boots this morning was because I know I have a family and a body of Airmen depending on me to be there for them today; they are my primary driver. They are always watching you and learning from your resiliency. More often than not, they’re more than willing to lend you a hand, so take it!
  • Flipping the “switch”… Are you really there?

    Stress can and does extend from work to family time and vice versa. What sets people apart is how they approach and deal with this inevitable crossroad. For too long, I was constantly working through my to-do list from the time I got home each night until I fell asleep. While I was physically present for my spouse or friends, a lot of the time I was not fully engaged. I have the most loving wife who understands the stressors and expectations of my job. With that said, she rightly called me out when my mind drifted back to work when it should have been elsewhere. I take pride in the work I do for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and I love my wife and value our time together. I want to ensure both are taken care of. The only way to effectively do this is by flipping that “switch” at the right time.
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