’Tis the season for giving

Lt. Col. Thomas Joyce
435th Mission Support Group deputy commander

“The military takes care of its own.”  I’ve heard that my whole
career and have witnessed the truth of the statement time and time
again.  As we move into the holiday season, that statement and our
commitment to it become even more important.

Many of our troops are away from home for the first time and this will
be their first holiday season spent without family. We all have wingmen
and many of us are supervisors – it’s our responsibility to be
concerned with the morale and well-being of our fellow Airmen, as well
as Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, and it’s especially important during
the winter season, where dark days and dreariness tend to get even the
most cheerful of us a bit down. To fight the doldrums, I encourage our
front-line supervisors to watch out for their troops this holiday
season and make a concerted effort to keep folks actively engaged in
some of the many special events scheduled to take place; or just invite
someone over to the house.

Fortunately, there are many exciting, high-energy events to help beat
down the winter blues.  Get your wingman and head to a Project
CHEER event, or get out and see the country by taking one of the
exciting trips offered by the Ramstein Tickets & Tours office,
Outdoor Recreation, and United Service Organizations.  There are
trips tailored for all ages and lifestyles – so get off the couch and
join the fun.  And don’t miss Operations Seasons Greetings on
Ramstein featuring Trick Pony along with John Popper and the New
England Patriots Cheerleaders.

There are also many volunteer opportunities over the winter months that
are “win-win.”  There is always a grateful recipient, and the
volunteer feels good for providing a much needed service. For those
looking to stay in shape over the season, the Ramstein Post Office can
always use some extra help carrying the thousands of packages coming in
and going out – just call 480-2889 or 480-3147 to sign up. For more
information on volunteer opportunities, call the Ramstein Family
Support Center at 480-5100.  I’m sure there’s one that fits your
interests. Don’t forget to take your wingman along; you can both be
Hidden Heroes.

Remember, November is the Month of the Military Family and the Ramstein
Family Support Center is also leading this effort to salute our
families by holding a number of terrific activities such as “Smiles
Across the Miles.”  If you are a single or divorced parent, you
are not alone. There is help available to get through the trying times
with the “Parenting Alone.”  And, finally, don’t forget those in
your unit who are deployed — reach out to someone in your military
family that has a deployed spouse or parent.

Together, we’re better.  Enjoy the holiday season, and make it better for someone else.