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  • The right thing to do

    Last week, I took leave to go turkey hunting for the first time in Washington state. I've heard northwestern turkeys were more of a challenge to hunt over the southern/mid-western birds, but I was up for the challenge. However, I must report the score is still zero long beards in the freezer. Instead, I spent time reflecting on my biggest
  • Parting words: A small few can make a big difference

    When the time came for me to write what would be my final article I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say. I pondered about giving words of wisdom or leaving you with some profound statement to invoke spontaneous deep thinking or perhaps even provide a theoretical perspective on why I joined the Air Force. But that is not who I really
  • Bold, Innovative and Intelligent Risk Takers

    When Lt. Gen. Darren McDew visited Fairchild, I observed briefings by 92nd and 141st Airmen. A repeating theme caught my attention. After Airman 1st Class Jessica Huckabee's Total Force Enterprise and Innovation briefing, the 18th Air Force commander asked how she became an Aircraft Generation Equipment Technician. She came in the Air Force to do
  • Taking charge of your future

    Who is in charge of where your life is headed? Is it you, someone else or no one? If "you" is not the answer, read on. Setting goals is a lesson I learned from my parents early in life. I quickly found that I like having control of my future. At first the goals were small, like attaining a specific rank in Boy Scouts or saving money for a new bike.
  • A Family of Airmen

    I take being a tanker pilot very seriously. You see, my family depends on it. My brother, Maj. Will O'Brien is a bomber weapons system officer and my brother-in-law, Maj. Kevin Hicok is a fighter pilot. They are both combat-tested aviators and weapons school instructors, but without tanker gas neither of them would be able to do their job of
  • Just do it

    Do you remember when your parents had to drag you inside from playing outdoors? I'm still trying to figure which point in our lives some of us lost the desire to run like the wind to dreading each lap around the track. I think people just dislike PT because it's hard, physical work that requires a long-term commitment. In my 29-year Air Force
  • Strengthen the ‘Long Blue Line’

    I frequently choke up a bit when I am at a retirement ceremony or going-away function and I hear people reference the "Long Blue Line." For me, it is one of the most reverent terms in reference to our great service. The thought that countless Airmen have served our nation proudly and professionally, expecting no grand adulation for their
  • Community support

    I'm four months from moving on to my next Air Force adventure. My family and I look forward to the change, but it will be hard to leave Spokane.Although I love my job at survival school, and Fairchild Air Force Base is a team-orientated base, the Spokane community is what we'll miss the most. It's not just all of the amazing things to do in and
  • From the flight line to line officer

    I made the decision to retire from the Air Force after 26 great years and couldn't help but reflect on where it all started. When I was a junior in high school I had no idea what I was going to do with my future. My parents never talked to me about college; I couldn't spell college, and really had no idea what that was all about. One day my father
  • Celebrate family, celebrate Fairchild

    This is one of my favorite times of the year.The holidays give us a chance to celebrate our friendships and families, reflect on the year behind us, and recharge to meet tomorrow with a smile and a drive to succeed. Next year promises to be bright for Team Fairchild, very bright. Skyfest 2013 returns in May. In addition to hosting thousands of