HomeNewsCommentariesDisplay

The beauty of unity

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- What do cheeseburgers, musical groups, sports teams and the United States of America have in common?

If you said "the letter 's,' you're right, but that's not the answer I'm looking for. The real answer is that one factor ties all of them together - unity.

How many of you want to eat a plain hamburger patty, listen to an hour-long bass guitar solo or watch a single football player run plays? However, when you put those elements together with their complementary components, now that's a different story. How about eating a juicy burger, listening to classic rock while watching your favorite sports team? That's what I call a good time.

We hear a lot about diversity these days, and that's a good thing. We are a diverse Air Force because we are a diverse nation. There's so much beauty in all of the skin tones, accents, cultural backgrounds and experiences we as Americans bring with us into the Air Force.

I firmly believe our diversity is a key reason why we are the best Air Force in the world. However, it's our unity that makes us strong. As the old proverb teaches us, one stick is broken without difficulty, but a bundle of sticks is not easily broken.

I was recently examining our American flag, and I was captivated by the stars. I thought about how many of our states are bigger than a lot of countries in this world and how diverse the north is from the south and the east from the west. Anyone who's spent time in all the regions of the U.S. knows this to be true. In spite of all our sub-cultures and differences as states and how they could be self-sufficient nations, we remain "one nation, under God, indivisible..," Many people lost their lives to preserve our national unity, and that's not something we should lose sight of.

Diversity is good and should be celebrated. However, at the end of the day it's our unity that allows us to stand strong in the face of many challenges and foes. I am American Airman, diverse but unified with all other diverse American Airmen. Together we will not fail.