By Col. James Dittus, 379th Expeditionary Operations Group
/ Published August 21, 2014
AL UDEID AIR BASE, QATAR -- Community...we are a part of it! Here at Al Udeid, our community consists of a total force, joint and coalition team and we do amazing things. Just this month, our community delivered decisive combat air power supporting operations in Afghanistan, and humanitarian efforts in Iraq. As a team, we have provided nourishment from the air for oppressed and displaced Iraqi citizens, and we have protected International Security Assistance Forces, and Afghan National Security Forces, from insurgent attacks in Afghanistan. All of these end results advance our country's national security objectives. Do you know how you played a role?
If you're deployed here, your function is essential to the Al Udeid community and mission, and you're appreciated for what you do. The message of everyone's contributions needs to be shared with our Airmen and partners across the base so we all understand our connection to that mission. On a regular basis, we sleep in comfort, eat good food, and operate under a blanket of security provided by our air and ground defenses. Additionally, we have quality health care, and numerous recreational options which allow us to flourish individually. These elements provide for our basic needs, and allow us to function well at our jobs and in the community. Although we've established a solid community foundation, how do we continue to build?
Be aware. Sure it's hot outside. It's brown and rocky. But there is much more to see if you really stop and look. I start my day by regularly seeing runners along the road, or folks walking to and from their quarters visiting various base facilities. Do you lift your head, and provide a friendly greeting to acknowledge those service members? You're not the only one that should be appreciated for your service. Take the time to be aware of your greater community.
We all depend on those around us to do their critical tasks, so we can do ours. We'll be a better community if we take the time to involve ourselves with others. We can greet them and say, "hello," and, "how's it going." As I said earlier, it's important for us to be appreciated for our service, but that's a focus on "me." It's even more important to appreciate those around you for what they do, and shift to a focus on "community."
Give a greeting when you pass by others, strike up a conversation while you're on the bus to work, or pick up a traveler if you're driving to a nearby destination. Ask them about what they do. You'll be pleasantly surprised at the blessings of diversity in our team, including where they grew up, where they're based, and how they contribute. You'll probably even find an answer to that nagging question you've had about loud takeoffs, when the new lodging will be ready, or when will it cool down around here. More importantly, we'll all grow to better understand and appreciate all the efforts others put into the fight.
We can grow, farther and faster, as a community, responsible for our individual actions, and appreciative of others. With that growing strength, we can accomplish even greater achievements in the future. It certainly starts with individuals being appreciated for their efforts, but it's magnified when individuals appreciate everyone's contributions. Now, go out and continue making a difference in our community!