Individual choices lead to collective successes

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Pablo Valverde
  • 447th Air Expeditionary Group superintendent
Editor's note: Chief Valverde is deployed from the 944th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., where he serves as the wing's command chief.

I would like to thank you for making the choice to serve our great country. Without a doubt, you are serving with the finest warriors in the world. I'm confident every single one of you, at one time or another has been approached by a stranger while in uniform and has had the experience of being thanked for your service. From my experience, I can assure you that most Americans believe in you, support you and are thankful for your service.

We have all sacrificed something in our lives to deploy and serve here. For example, some of our fine young Airmen's' wives will be having babies during this deployment.

Many of us have kids in school, and most of us will miss being with our loved ones on birthdays, anniversaries and the holidays. We'll never get those days of sharing and caring back, but we can't forget that what we are doing here is important to freedom--both here and at home.

During my visits to offices and work centers, I ask Airmen how their families are doing back home; I hear many different answers but the message remains the same, "I love my family, and I'm here for them." I want to remind you to take the time to call those people you love and let them know how you're doing and thank them for their support, because they are serving at home as well.

Our choices in life have led us to this destination and this mission. We come here from all different parts of the country with a combination of Airmen from the regular Air Force, National Guard and Reserve, all working together for a common goal. We've come together as one team and as one force under the leadership assigned to this organization. We will succeed in our mission and perform better than any other country because we have chosen to do so with conviction and honor.

Wise choices lead to a successful deployment, but poor choices made consciously, or through complacency, can bring painful experiences and even death.

Each of our individual choices can lead to successes or failures for the entire group. We all either reap the benefits of wise choices or we end up paying for the bad choices we make. We need to take ownership of the decisions and choices we make in our lives on a daily basis.

Some of choices you need to make while you are here are:
- Focus on the mission, and do not choose complacency.
- Do the right thing and make conscious, well thought-out decisions.
- Get involved and make a difference for our fellow Airmen.
- Support our core values and live by them.
- Take care of your wingman.

Ensuring we all make good choices begins with keeping a positive attitude, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in--a positive state-of-mind helps us make the right choices.

I'm humbled and honored to serve with you, and I thank you all for making the choice to serve.