Tuesday, June 10, 2008

VIEW FROM THE TOP >> Enjoy the summer ... safely

By Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr.
314th Airlift Wing commander

We're two weeks into the 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign, and as temperatures everywhere begin to rise, it's only natural that we would try to enjoy some fun summer activities while trying to cool down at the same time. That is why there's no better time to talk about water safety.

Whenever you choose to swim, remember to never swim alone. Even if you are an excellent swimmer, things happen sometimes that are beyond our control. Simply enjoying the water with a wingman goes a long way towards staying safe. Also remember, you should never drink alcohol when around water. As with driving, a large percentage of water accidents and casualties involve alcohol and many of these accidents are 100 percent preventable.

We are also heading right into the PCS season. Many of us here at Team Little Rock will be saying good-bye to old friends and hello to new teammates and neighbors. We will all be experiencing at least a little stress including the stress of moving our families, the stress of saying goodbye and the stress of change, be it in our neighborhoods or in the workplace. Through it all, we must remember that with these changes come the opportunity to meet new friends, gain new experiences, and new opportunities for growth in both our personal and professional lives.

I would also like to take the time to welcome our new 314th Airlift Wing command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley and his wife Than. Chief Brinkley comes to us from the 8th Fighter Wing "Wolf Pack" in Kunsan AFB, Republic of Korea. With over 24 years in the Air Force, nearly 12 of which were served performing first sergeant duties, Chief Brinkley's experience will truly be an asset to us all as he oversees the health, morale and welfare of the wing's enlisted personnel.

Tonight we will be honoring true American heroes at our Team Little Rock D-Day Dining-In. The Dining-In is a great tradition in our Air Force and this one will celebrate the 64th Anniversary of D-Day. It will truly be an honor to hear from Lt. Col. (Ret.) Jack Downhill, a former 62nd Airlift Squadron commander, who will speak about his experiences as a C-47 pilot dropping paratroopers over Normandy on D-Day. On behalf of all of Team Little Rock, I would like to welcome and thank Colonel Downhill for being with us in remembrance of D-Day.

Let's continue to make wise choices, be good wingmen, and enjoy the summer sun safely! See you tonight at the Dining-In!

Combat Airlift!


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