Commentary: Happy Thanksgiving

  • Published
  • By Col. Mark S. Larson
  • 931st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
931 ARW,

Recently I was watching a reporter interview random people on the busy streets of New York City. The question he posed to them was, "What are you thankful for?" As you can imagine there were many different answers but some of them struck me as profound. One young man was thankful that there were no fights on the Metro as he rode to work that day, another that after 36 years of marriage his parents were still alive and in love and he appreciated their example to him. One young man was grateful for macaroni and cheese which sounds a little strange, but it reminded him of coming home from grade school years earlier and having his mother prepare it for him (she was no longer living). One man who seemed to be the most cheerful and enthusiastic said, "There are simply too many things and we would be here for hours, I could make you a list and send it to you if you would like." All of them could think of something for which they were thankful and so can we.

In my life I have been privileged to associate with people who I considered to be truly thankful. These individuals seemed to be able to see the positive in any situation or the good in every person even when faced with challenges that to me seemed most difficult (there are several in this unit). I enjoy being around them and am a better person for having associated with them. Someone once told me that you become the average of the five people that you most closely associate with. I encourage you to find those people who are thankful and positive and become like them. I am thankful for the opportunity to be part of the 931 ARW. There are so many outstanding Airmen in this unit who inspire me to want to better. Many of you sacrifice much to serve and are dealing with tremendous challenges. To those who are deployed and will soon deploy, I thank you for being willing to leave family, jobs and personal pursuits to do what our nation has asked us to do. Recently I attended a Wichita Chamber event with the 184th and 22nd Wing Commanders and was overwhelmed again at the expressions of gratitude from our community; they appreciate all you have done/do for our country.

Finally I would remind you the Thursday is Thanks "giving" and not Thanks "getting." Take the opportunity to gather with family and friends (if able) and express your gratitude to those who have given so much to support you. Extend yourself on behalf of another and you will benefit greatly. I am reminded of the quote that says, "I complained about having no shoes until I met a man with no feet." We have much for which to be Thankful.

Best wishes to you all for a Happy Thanksgiving.