Our Shared Experiences

  • Published
  • By CCMSgt. Owen Duke Sr.
  • 908th Airlift Wing
First, let me say I am honored to serve you and your families as your new 908th Airlift Wing Command Chief. After the initial shock wore off I began to ask myself, "What first?" Well, that was easy; my first "official act" as your new Command Chief was to speak at July's Yellow Ribbon event in Orlando, Fla.

Colonel Clark gave commander's coins to those who had not received them... it seemed to start the event on the right note. I saw lots of familiar faces and a few new ones as well.

As military members we understand what we are getting into when we sign the dotted line; ours is a dangerous business. We get the training, the practice, the equipment and the opportunity to deploy. There is no training for our families.

As someone already said, "families do not receive uniforms, medals, flags, or have parades in their honor; yet they serve. It is the family who keeps a candle burning in the window so their warrior can always find their way home."
Yes, our families serve.

As most of you know, Col. Clark recently returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. Imagine that, volunteering to leave the wing commander's seat for a place in the "sandbox"... talk about a tough guy! During my time in Security Forces I was deployed to Baghdad in 2006, and Kirkuk in 2008. I tell you this not as a point of bravado, but to make two points.

First, your senior leadership has been where you have been. We understand what you have experienced, what you are experiencing and what you will experience. You are not alone. Second, in the future as in the past, your senior leadership will continue to look after your families in your absence.

They will not be left alone.

The 908th Airlift Wing is a large family with great people and, many shared experiences both at home and abroad. Our travels together will continue as will our focus on the well-being of warriors and family.

Again, I am honored to serve each of you and your families.