Let them know you care

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Bonnie Bosler
  • 934th AEW commander
As wingmen in the Air Force we are taught to watch out and care for our wingman.  This holiday season is the perfect time to use this concept in our daily lives.  Our family, friends and fellow Airmen will often experience the "holiday season" in different ways. 

I think of those in my own life who will be celebrating with many different emotions this holiday season all of which may bring on additional stresses:
-The individual that had lost a loved one.
-The individual that has had life changes such as lost a job, been diagnosed with an illness, caring for a loved one.
-The individual that has a loved one deployed.

I personally can place a name in each category above without difficulty and as I reflect on this time of increased stress my question is, what can we do to help?
The answers can take numerous approaches but taking it back to the basics can address these areas for everyone in our lives.  People just want to know that you care.  Be there for that individual who might just need to talk about how much they will miss their loved one.  Listening is an amazing tool, and you can learn so much about a person! 

Assisting someone who might just need a "break" from caring for a loved one or maybe they are home alone with their children while their spouse is deployed.  Taking over a meal or cookies opens that door that lets them know you care. 

In this electronic age we have different styles of communication but the hand written card is a lost art.  It is amazing how touched people are when they receive something addressed to them.  It shows them you care and you are thinking about them.
In my humble opinion when I take the time to be there for my family and friends and Airmen in an effort to help them through the season, my own personal stresses actually decrease.  It allows me to know that I am not the only one that has a tough time celebrating the season.  It allows me to reflect on others and realize that we all need to be there for one another.  In my case it allows me to give back which is what my Aunt Rose would have done if she were physically here this holiday season.

Our Airmen deserve wingmen who rally around each other and offer everyone a chance to celebrate this season.