908th will always be home

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Scott Hayes
  • 357th Airlift Squadron
"My home's in Alabama, no matter where I lay my head" is a great lyric from a great song, by the great country group, Alabama, and it sums up how I feel as my tenure with the 908th comes to an end; for the 908th will always be where I call home, even though the time has come for another chapter in my professional life.

I joined the 357th Airlift Squadron on Oct. 1, 1997 and for the last 13.5 years I have worked with the 908th family, taking care of the mission whenever and wherever needed. I was barely out of unit indoctrination when I was asked to be a part of the first "Big Drop" exercise, and the next thing I knew, I was in Panama on our last Oak rotation learning what HOROKO and peacock bass were.

The rest has been an amazing blur of ORIs, Oaks, Forges, activations, staff meetings, and planning meetings, culminating with the incredible opportunity to command the finest C-130 squadron in the Air Force.

As I prepare to hand over the reins to my good friend and fraternity brother, Lt. Col. Craig Drescher, my heart is heavy with the thought of saying good-bye to so many fellow airmen that I have the greatest amount of respect for. I have worked with almost every organization in the wing in some capacity and am grateful for the opportunity to serve with you all.

My maintenance brethren have kept me safe for thousands of flight hours and exemplify the core value of "service before self." I have never doubted the aircraft status when it was time to "Clear Number 3 Engine," and I thank you for your efforts.

Lastly, to the proud men and women of the 357th Airlift Squadron, words can't express the gratitude and honor I feel as part of your family. We have watched children grow up, celebrated family joys, prayed over family losses, and endured combat together. And together, we have continued the proud tradition of answering our nation's call when needed.

I salute you all and wish you God's speed, as I depart for the Force Generation Center at HQ AFRC.

- "Snip"