Angels and Airmen

by 1st Lt. Barron Tompkins
1st Combat Communications Squadron

***image1***Your car narrowly misses a collision with an 18-wheeler on the autobahn. As you walk up to your bedroom, you lose your balance on the stairs, but manage to grab the handrail. You kneel to tie your shoe laces only to feel a baseball graze your hair from behind.  Some would call it merely chance. Others would call it something more.

The term “Guardian Angel” is often attached to situations involving the gap between life and death circumstances − when a person narrowly escapes a hazardous situation, they might say, “My guardian angel was working overtime.”  Of course, no one can actually see their guardian angel, but every now and again, they show themselves through alternate means.

Staff sergeants Johnny Anthony and Timothy Klein, both members of the 1st Combat Communications Squadron, were working at the Ramstein Enlisted Club when they noticed that one of the visitors had too much to drink. They called the member a taxi and escorted him away from the bar area so that he would not be tempted to drink more.

Unfortunately, the patron did not get into the taxi as planned. When Sergeant Klein went out to check on the member, he noticed him walking aimlessly around the parking lot. Sergeants Klein and Anthony saw the inebriated man get in his vehicle. Immediately, both men rushed over and prevented him from going any further. They escorted the member over to a bench and sat with him until his taxi arrived.

“They saved his life,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Colbert, 1st CBCS Superintendent. “There’s no doubt in my mind that they saved his life. Of course, they prevented the DUI, but that pales in comparison to the countless lives they saved; including the member’s.”

With the KMC’s push toward a 0-0-1-3 environment, it is essential that Airmen look out for fellow Airmen, not just some of the time, but all of the time.  Too often, people associate 0-0-1-3 with another shift in the culture against alcohol.  The truth is that 0-0-1-3 does not seek to establish an antialcohol culture.  It’s not at all a culture against drinking alcohol.  It’s a culture of drinking alcohol responsibly. 

“This is exactly what we are training our Airmen to be,” said 1st CBCS Commander Lt. Col. Joseph Sublousky. “Not only being responsible Airmen during working hours, but during all hours of the day.  Staff sergeant Anthony and Staff sergeant Klein are both prime examples of Airmen acting responsibly.  On that night, they were not just Airmen; they were guardian angels.”

Sergeants Anthony and Klein did not stand idly by and watch a fellow Airman make a potentially fatal mistake. They reacted the way each one of us should. 

Next time you are out at the bar or club and you see that one of your friends, or even a stranger, that has had too much to drink, what will you do?  Would you stop them in their tracks?  Would you take away their keys?  Would you pull them out of their car?  Would you be someone’s guardian angel? The choice is yours, choose wisely.