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Commander's Comments: An Attitude of Gratitude

Swanton, OH -- Gratitude - the state of being grateful; thankfulness. With the Thanksgiving holiday rapidly approaching it seems reasonable to discuss the art of being grateful. Someone once told me that you can't be angry or upset and be grateful at the same time. I am certainly just like everyone else in this busy world trying to keep up. All of the responsibilities we have; work, school, kids, military jobs, additional jobs, civilian jobs, relatives, friends, homes and cars to care for. Who has time to be grateful? But then I came across a quote from R.H. Blyth, "There is no greater difference between men than between grateful and ungrateful people." The choice is yours and yours alone. No one else gets to choose for you. We are truly fortunate to be part of an excellent organization, the 180th Fighter Wing, made so by the great efforts of over 1,100 current members and thousands who have come before us. How can we take that for granted?

As you probably remember from your history lessons, the first Thanksgiving festival was on December 13, 1621 after the Pilgrims had a bountiful year. Following a proclamation from President George Washington in 1789, America celebrated its first Thanksgiving Day. The 180th Fighter Wing is very much like the Pilgrims of 1621 and has a lot to be grateful for. The year 2010 saw the successful passing of three major inspections for the wing, Alert Force Evaluation by NORAD, Operations Standards and Evaluation by 9th AF, and our Operational Readiness Inspection Phase II conducted by Air Combat Command. Thanks to the contributions of everyone on base, we excelled and achieved ratings above standards in each inspection. The wing pulled together as a team and achieved great things, and still met all the daily requirements of training and equipping the wing for its numerous critical missions.

During 2010 the wing also received additional funds and support to plan and construct new Munitions Storage Area, Multi-Use Facility, Range Complex, Fire Station, and Security Force Building with a Base Gym. These new facilities will be great to work in, will increase our capabilities, and help secure our role in our nation's defense for the future. While I hear many grumblings about the new fit regulations, I've seen many folks increasing their cardiovascular activity, doing "Insanity work-outs," and eating healthier. No one can deny the benefits of exercise which includes reducing stress, improving your mood, weight management, and living longer. The extra days we gain in our life by living and working healthy will certainly pay great dividends for us and our families. I don't know of too many people who enjoy starting their workout, but I am sure grateful when I'm done, less stressed, and more focused for work or play.

As we close out the year of 2010, please take a moment to look at the things that went right in our lives, the relationships that have improved, and all the wonderful things we have that are all too easy to take for granted.

With a spirit of gratitude this Thanksgiving season, take some time to enjoy and be thankful for the success and terrific things you accomplished this past year. These breaks are obviously needed in our life and allow us to recharge and prepare us again to defend our nation against any possible future aggression. Being grateful calms our anxieties and allows us to refocus, renew our mindsets, and attack problems with a positive, proactive, and optimistic viewpoint. I am grateful for having a job which serves and defends our great nation. I am grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with all the professionals in the 180th FW. And, I am grateful for the opportunity to overcome the new challenges we will face in the future as we work together and strive for excellence in defending the greatest nation on the planet. Enjoy your upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!

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