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Where's your motivation?

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Owens
  • 379th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant
As a first sergeant my job is all about people; taking care of Airmen and assisting them with personal and professional needs. More often than not, motivation plays a key part with troubled Airmen. I ask myself, "What will make an Airman do the right thing? What will help an Airman get up on time for work? What will it take to make an Airman follow the core values?"

Recently, I attended a motivational event many Airmen do not get to experience - a Fallen Warrior ceremony. We often see pictures in the Air Force Times of our Fallen Warriors. The write-up underneath the pictures give a short description of what happened to them. This synopsis does not capture the whole story.

I have witnessed at least 50 of our heroes being carried off C-17s and C-130s over the past several months. The main ramp is lined with our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen paying last respects to our heroes. As each one is carried from the aircraft, my heart and prayers go out to the families who have lost a hero, but my mind wonders why motivation for some is so difficult to find. These Fallen Warriors have given the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our great nation and in the defense of others.

So you might ask, 'where is the motivation to do my job, and what does my job have to do with this?' Every job, home station or deployed, has an impact on warriors on the ground and in the air fighting today's fight. If we choose not to have the motivation to do our job and do not give everything we can give, the end result could be the death of one of our comrades or even one of our family members.

So, the next time you get up and have an "I don't feel like working today" attitude, think about the families that are laying their loved ones to rest who made the ultimate sacrifice. Put yourself in their shoes and try to feel a little of the pain they may be feeling and will continue to feel for years to come. I promise you, motivation will happen. Everything you and I do has an impact -- you don't have to look far to find the motivation to do your job.