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Family Care, Support Vital Part of Mission

  • Published
  • By Col. Timothy Zadalis
  • 43rd Airlift Wing commander
Big congratulations go out this week to everyone at Team Pope, because we are in the running again for the Installation Excellence Award. For the second year in a row we have a fantastic opportunity to show again how truly wonderful our base is. Pope truly is the Pride of the Force, and I know we all are ready to showcase Our People, Mission, and Motivation for the Installation Excellence Award team when they visit Tuesday. So, if you see the visiting team -- Cols. Jon Roop, Martin Sayles, Steve Brunhaver, John Meek and Samuel Douglas -- show them that Pope Pride! 

This week I want to talk about how important it is to take care of our families. I've always said that when our Airmen are called upon to put the mission first, they need to know their families are taken care of back on the homefront. We couldn't do any of our work without our families' support; without them, our mission would fail. In particular here at Pope, we have a high operations tempo and our Airmen are deploying all the time. Right now, we have more than 900 members of Team Pope deployed to locations all over the world, and those people couldn't fulfill their missions without family members getting the support they need here at home. I encourage all of you to remember the families left home, check in on them regularly and see if they need anything. It's a vital step in reassuring our deployed members that we are looking after the safety and security of their loved ones. It's all part of being a good Wingman. 

I want to say a fond farewell to Dave Davenport, many know him as the creative genius behind the Herky Bird caricatures. Dave has been an institution at Pope for more than 40 years. We wish you luck and thank you for all your hard work and dedication. 

I want to also thank Capt. Warren Vines, 43rd Communications Squadron, and his team who put together a fantastic Air Force Ball Saturday night. The 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus was wonderful, and the words of Lt. Gen. John Vines, XVIII Airborne Corps commanding general, attested to the strength of our joint relationship. It was great to recognize our youngest Airman at the ball, Airman 1st Class Tiffany Smith, 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, when she and I cut the cake together, as well. 

Additionally, I want to congratulate four of Pope's lieutenant colonels who are on the Phoenix Eagle list: Lt. Cols. Warren P. Barlow, 43rd Airlift Wing; Charles E. Beam, 41st Airlift Squadron; David W. Knight, 43rd Airlift Wing; and Robert S. Ricci, 43rd Operations Support Squadron. 

Congratulations also go out this week to Capt. Sharon B. Frazier, 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, for winning the Dolly Vinsant Flight Nurse Award, an Air Force-level award given to outstanding flight nurses. 

And remember, Keep safe, and Be There for Your Wingman.