82nd TRW commander sends holiday message

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. O.G. Mannon
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
Earlier this month, we celebrated the opening of the holiday season with our base tree lighting. Friday night we'll observe another holiday tradition unique to the training environment--Exodus. 

We've been doing it here for so long, we almost take it for granted, but the fact is that Exodus is a huge logistical undertaking--in terms of personnel, it's about the equivalent of moving an Army division. It's taken a lot of planning and hard work by a lot of people, and it will be a late night for a lot of folks working to get our young Airmen safely home for the holidays. 

But that's nothing new, of course--our commanders, first sergeants, military training leaders, instructors and support troops work long hours all year to take care of these young people and turn them into trained and ready Warrior Airmen. 

Exodus is a chance for you to get a well-deserved break. And it's a chance for me to say "thank you" for what you do here at Sheppard every day. The best part of being a commander is that you get a front-row seat to watch the great things people do to make the mission happen--and trust me, there's a lot of great things happening here. 

So I hope you will all take some time this holiday season to rest, spend time with your families and friends, and recharge your batteries. 

But I am going to ask three things of you:
1. Please remember our brothers and sisters in arms who are in harm's way and their families who are keeping the home fires burning. 

2. Don't forget that not all of our trainees made it home for the holidays. None of the Airmen who remained at Sheppard should spend Christmas or New Year's Eve alone in the dorms--we need to make sure they are taken care of. 

3. Please, please take care of yourselves, your families and your fellow Airmen. If you're going to be on the road, drive safely. If you plan to drink, hand over your keys to your wingman. Be smart and use the risk management principles we've all been taught. Every one of you is too valuable to lose. 

It is an honor for me to serve with each of you and to wear the Air Force uniform. I am proud of what you've accomplished in making Sheppard the premier training base in the Air Force and a great place to live and work. 

Best wishes for safe travels, wonderful memories and a prosperous New Year.