Let's Count Our Blessings!

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving, a day to give thanks for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon our nation and our families.

Just as our ancestors took time to thank their Creator for the liberty and bounty they experienced within their new-found land, so should we. While none of us have trouble-free lives, we certainly each have been blessed in so many ways.

Let me recount a few I think all of us at Team Sheppard share.

First, we should all give thanks for being part of an Air Force that is feared and revered around the globe. We are all part of a great team that is charged with ensuring we can dominate air, space, and cyberspace wherever and whenever our nation calls.

It is an Air Force that is fully engaged in the Global War on Terrorism, with 179,000 members of our active-duty air force, more than half of our ranks, actively deployed or employed in direct support of a Combatant Commander or assigned overseas. Whether fighting the Global War on Terror, providing deterrence on the Korean peninsula, or bringing aid to communities devastated by natural disasters, our airmen continue to do something amazing every day - that's something to be thankful for.

Second, we should be thankful for being part of Team Sheppard's amazing training mission: the 80th's NATO pilot training operations combined with a technical training mission that ranges from aircraft maintenance to medical to fuels to telecommunications to Civil Engineering to vehicle ops.

We are so fortunate to be charged with generating over half of the USAF's technical training graduates as well as 20 percent of the USAF's total pilot training capacity. No one comes close to Sheppard.

Third, we should be thankful for this great nation of ours where we enjoy the freedom to express thanksgiving, religious expression, political views, or whatever is on our mind.

Thank God for our good fortune in being associated with this great nation, and for the men and women who have died to preserve it or who are safeguarding it today.
Finally, we should all be most thankful for our families. Without their love, support, and encouragement, we would not be able to do what we do for our Air Force and our nation.

On this Thanksgiving, be sure to tell them how much you appreciate what they do for you.

I am certainly thankful for each of you and all you do to support our air force and nation. You are so valuable that we need each and every one of you to return safely after this holiday weekend. If you're traveling out of town, please take your time and ensure you get plenty of rest before you depart. If your plans include drinking, drink responsibly, and don't drink with car keys in your pocket or purse. Hand over your keys before you take that first drink!

Team Sheppard - have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving, and thank you for all you do for our Air Force!