Families, freedom and the opportunities of a New Year

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sergeant Mark Koenig
  • 934th Airlift Wing command chief
Fellow 934th Airman,

I've always thought New Year's Day was an especially American tradition, full of the optimism and hope we're famous for in the 934th Airlift Wing - an energy and confidence I call the American spirit.

Perhaps because I know each of us controls our own destiny, I believe deep down inside that working together we can make the New Year better than the old. I take this New Year opportunity to look ahead and decide what I can do better in 2011.

Like most of us, I am with my family at this time, near the warmth of the hearth. Gathered together, I find strength and renewal in my family's company. To further enrich my soul, I remember those who are not home with us during this renewal season. As we enter 2011, fellow 934th warriors are deployed in harm's way or will soon be departing. They serve today as proud guardians of our freedom, paying tribute to the words of former President Ronald Reagan who once said; "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."

Just as families of volunteer minutemen kept watch over their farms and shops while brave warriors won America's independence more than two centuries ago, I too shall keep watch, provide family support and celebrate the day when everyone has safely returned home.

Today as I look forward to my 31st "new year" in the Air Force, I'll stop and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the work-a-day world and make a new beginning. I thank God for life and the blessings He's put before us. High among them are our families, our freedom, and the opportunities of a new year.

On the eclipse of this New Year, let's renew our faith that as free military men and women serving to a higher degree, we have the power to better our lives and the lives of those around us. We have the commitment and confidence firmly in our hearts to succeed at any challenge of the New Year.

All of us must stand ready to Fly, Fight and Win when called upon to ensure our freedoms for every future New Year. That, after all, is our greatest strength and our greatest gift as military members and as Americans.