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Wing Commander's Holiday Message

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- -- As we conclude another great year at Westover, on behalf of the leadership here, I want to take the time to say how much I appreciate everything you do for our nation and for the 439th Airlift Wing. The dedication and service each of you demonstrates every day to get the job done and to answer the call is still remarkable to me.
The best way to thank you is not just to say it, but to show it by taking care of you so you can take care of the mission.
This concept, highlighted during the 22nd Air Force Human Resources Development Council workshop here in October, is not new. And I believe most of the supervisors here take care of their people wholeheartedly. However, we all need reminders from time-to-time to make sure we are "walking the walk" by addressing the concerns that keep you from accomplishing your mission.
Some of those concerns, like adequate billeting, have a direct impact on morale, recruiting and retention. Realizing I can resolve some problems quickly, some take time and unfortunately some I cannot resolve due to budget and Air Force guideline restrictions, I promise I will make your interests and challenges my top priority.
But I need your help. Westover leadership cannot create viable solutions in a vacuum. We need your continual input to ensure we address the issues important to you, versus the issues we think are important to you.
I encourage you to get involved in organizations like the HRDC, Rising Six, Company Grade Officers' Council, Top 3, etc. as a venue for communicating with us. Command Chief Master Sgt. Zigmund Skawski and I meet with many of these groups during the UTA to ensure we hear from our Airmen, first-hand.
Many of you, through participation in our professional organizations, have affected change to the benefit of the entire wing.
As you look around Westover today, you can see the results of some of the initiatives generated by your fellow Airmen. For example, several people told me they wanted Westover to look more like an Air Force base, so they came up with a plan, presented it and achieved their goal - placing aircraft models, representing our long and rich history, around the base.
As we enter 2008, we will continue to work diligently and to do our part to help all of us successfully carry out our mission. During the year, we will feature articles in the Patriot to highlight not only what will be done, but more importantly what is being done.
The challenges we face in our military and personal lives today are much different than the ones I faced when I first entered the military. Yet, you continue to adapt to many changes and challenges with exceptional results.
Kim and I wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season. May you enjoy them with your loved ones, and may the new year bring you continued blessings. Let us also keep all our deployed men and women and their families in our hearts.