It's Payback Time!

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
As you know, North Texas has been stricken with some unusually severe weather this Summer, particularly high winds and heavy rains. 

Here at Sheppard, we suffered about $1.6M worth of storm damage to the base--primarily to electrical systems, roofs, and air conditioning systems. GMH is still working hard to trim trees and repair damage to homes caused by the storm. CE has worked tirelessly to keep our mission going despite the damage. 

And then, last week, approximately 30 SAFB families were displaced by the flooding around town, with several suffering major damage to their homes.

I was encouraged to see squadrons and groups rallying around those in need. I was also pleased to hear reports of units checking on their military and civilian members to ensure that no one suffered in silence without the opportunity to get help from their Air Force family. 

The situation was a good reminder that Air Force people look after their wingmen in times of need, whether those wingmen are uniformed personnel, trainees, families of deployed or TDY members, civilians, retirees, etc. As good wingmen, we need to constantly keep each other in our crosscheck and offer assistance, even when we're not asked.

And of course, being a good wingman is not limited to our Air Force family. We should look for ways to support and assist the community we live in. Hundreds of families on the east side of Wichita Falls have suffered damage to their homes or businesses. There have already been calls for assistance for volunteers from our base and the community. Agencies like the Red Cross, United Way, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity will be looking for volunteers--medics, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and anyone willing to lend a hand.

CMSgt Scott Cornell, along with our Sheppard Chapel Staff, will be leading the effort to match SAFB volunteers with downtown agencies that request support and assistance. I'd encourage you to contact Chief Cornell or the chapel to volunteer your services. It's times like this that we can help pay back the great support we receive from the Texoma community.

Thanks Team Sheppard for all you do to make our mission happen and for looking after your fellow wingmen, here on base, and in the community.