Service before self

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Aaron Mulder
  • 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron first sergeant
As a first sergeant, I am continually amazed at the dedication and selflessness of my fellow Airmen in the 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the men and women here at Grand Forks Air Force Base.

In the last week, I have seen Airmen volunteer to support the Northland's Rescue Mission serving Thanksgiving meals, cleaning up the Ralph and Alerus Centers to support squadron holiday parties, gathering items for deployed personnel overseas, supporting the veteran's stand down, cleaning up the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce in Grand Forks, N.D., and the list goes on.

We all lead busy lives and it is easy to go to work and go home without noticing everything going on around us. Nevertheless, as Air Force members, we understand that we are part of something bigger, which is the Profession of Arms. Despite all of our other commitments like family, mission and many more, giving back is just something we do.

During the holidays, I have noticed that most of us are in an especially giving mood. A friend of mine started a new Thanksgiving tradition of going to the Rescue Mission to serve meals to the homeless.

When I was a kid, I remember a Thanksgiving tradition my mom would do. She would bake cookies and my six siblings and I would deliver them to the elderly in our neighborhood.

As you spend time with your families during the upcoming holiday season, think about what you might do to give back to the community. Here are some things you might consider:

- Visit a nursing home and spend some time with the residents
- Offer to assist the local Veteran's of Foreign War with projects
- Serve meals at a local homeless shelter
- Put together care packages for deployed co-workers
- Invite a deployed co-worker's family over for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner

These are just a few examples of how you can give back during the holiday season. As Air Force members, one of our core values is "service before self." This applies to our personal lives as well as our careers in the Air Force. This time of year can be especially hectic, but what I have learned in my life is that material gifts fade over time, but giving of yourself will last long after those material gifts end up in the summer garage sale. Please remember our fellow servicemembers during this holiday season and take care of their families here at home as well. Thank you for all that you do every day, HUA!