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The most selfless chief

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Juan Benavidez
  • 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron
Today, I witnessed what I believe is the best chief master sergeant in the Air Force. He is a most selfless Chief; one who truly cares for his Airmen.

It's still fresh in my mind, and I'm writing this so I may never forget. On February 26, my traffic management office team processed weapons for redeployers who were transiting from fighting in Afghanistan.

These warriors had seen their fair share of combat. Our task was to ship their weapons, so they could get to their decompression training quickly and get home to their families. All had not seen their families for more than a year. While going through some advanced paperwork, I noticed that some of the weapons were from fallen Airmen.

Nevertheless, we met their chief at the weapons processing point. Any Airman or NCO could have validated serial numbers to transfer weapons, but it was the chief who took this task.  It was evident that he was tired-his team had arrived about six hours earlier, and I'm sure they were already settled in. But not the chief--this was one more task he was doing for his team--selfless.

As we were validating weapons and serial numbers, the chief eventually came across one belonging to one of his killed-in-action Airmen. He paused, and then told us how he had fallen.  We went through a couple more, and he came across a weapon from an Airman who was wounded in action; he told us how this warrior was wounded.

Next, he opened up a case and stopped-it was apparent the chief was visibly shaken. In his hand, he held the orders of his KIA, and it looked like they had blood on them. He didn't say a word, and I could see his hand shaking. He finally read off the serial number, and we proceeded.

After we had processed about 60 weapons, my team proceeded to load the weapons in our truck. The chief got away from me somehow, and began to help us load the weapons--selfless.

As respectfully as I could, I told the chief we would take care of everything--I wasn't going to take no for an answer. He could have easily pulled rank, but I believed he knew how important it was for us to serve him.  And for that, I appreciate the chief.

I thought about what happened all night, and realized how lucky our country is to have this chief serving.