My Airman brothers

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman J. Paul Croxon
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
We have a choice as Airmen. We can either put on our uniforms and go to work, or we can put on our uniforms and serve our country.

Please don't get the wrong idea. This isn't just another rant about patriotism from some Airman who writes for the Air Force. It's a rant about family ... from an Airman who writes for the Air Force.

The line between service versus employment and family seems tenuous, but set the scene with T-barriers and sand, and the line seems to solidify.

At home station, we can easily fall into the mindset of employees working for some faceless corporation. You know what I mean; go to work, come home, punch in, punch out. It's the routine that makes us forget why we walked into the recruiter's office.

But deployed, away from family, fast food and weekends off, we cling to the only thing we know - our fellow Airmen. And deployments are something we're almost all familiar with.

But shouldn't deployments be a catalyst for our patriotism? It's what makes us brothers at war and should make us brothers at home.

When I look at my fellow Airman as brothers in the sacred profession of arms, he and I belong to something as old as mankind. In that light, my salute has more meaning and my verbal greeting has the weight of heritage behind it.

I try to keep in mind that the Airman I saw today is an Airman at war. His family will make great sacrifices because of it. I respect him and his family for the sacrifices they make, just as I thank my family for supporting me when I leave them. Respect of one another is crucial to our unity as a fighting force and is the conduit to our heritage.

This isn't just one Airman who has access to a computer ranting. The grizzled senior NCO in your work center, the veteran who wears his retired hat every time he leaves the house, and the silent voices entombed in Arlington all speak of mutual respect and the brotherhood of Arms we all belong to. Even the Secretary of the Air Force lists it as his number one goal.

Tomorrow I'm going to put on my uniform to serve my country. Are you going to work or are coming with me, brother?