A Family of Airmen

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Patrick O'Brien
  • 93rd Air Refueling Squadron commander
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 destroying our nation's enemies.

When we were growing up, Will and I always had each other's back on the playground and never let each other down ... I don't intend to start now.

There are many families like mine throughout the Air Force and our sister services who have multiple family members and even multiple generations of family members currently serving who answered our nation's call. But you don't need to be one of us to have a family in the Air Force. Just look around. Your wingmen are your family! And just like Will and I, you don't want to let each other down.

This is what makes the Air Force an incredible team and Team Fairchild an incredible place to serve.

I see Airmen taking care of Airmen like family every day. Whether it is visiting the hospital after the birth of a child, sending care packages to your deployed buddy, giving a hand to someone before they even ask for help, or welcoming the new guy or gal and making them feel like they have always been a part of the squadron, we do an outstanding job of taking care of our Air Force family!

The last part of the Airman's creed states "I am an American Airman. Wingman, leader, warrior. I will never leave an Airman behind, I will never falter, and I will not fail."

This is the part that makes me think of my brothers. I strive to be the best tanker pilot I can be and lead the best tanker squadron because I will never leave my brothers behind.

When it comes to getting them the fuel that enables them to destroy our enemies, I will never falter, and I will not fail. I know you feel the same way about your job and your Air Force family; I see it in every one of you all around the base!