As I sit here on Thanksgiving, missing my friends and family, I am thankful for the lessons I have been taught on seeing the bigger picture. I am thankful for the opportunity to be away from home today.
I am climbing. I am no longer looking up at the daunting task ahead. I am in it. The journey is not some ambiguous story of future endeavors. I wake up everyday and get to work. I am an Airman.
It is a small change in title, but the ultimate destination will find me in a world I could not have ever imagined as a child. Occasionally I get caught off guard by the magnificence of the things that are going on around me. I go in to work, walk past three mission ready helicopters with crews ready, to save lives. I walk into a hanger with men and women working tooth and nail, day in and day out.
Last week I got to refuel a helicopter that remained powered up because it was engaged in a mission. I got to sit in the cockpit as another was pulled out to the launch pad. All without really recognizing the immensity of what those small tasks were adding toward.
But really, this is all just the secondary part of my day. The true daily honor is the moment I stand before the heros who are training us. The Rescue Swimmers. The moment I get put in the leaning rest position, ready to do however many push-ups they deem appropriate. The moment I enter the pool in the morning and do a warmup 500. The moment when I hit exhaustion, and it is demanded that I sprint down, and underwater back. The honor is mine, to be molded. To become what I believe I can be. To become what they are training me to be.
It is far from easy. There are many moments when I don’t want to do what is asked of me. When I don’t want to do another push-up. When I dont want to get in the cold water. When I don’t want to hold my breath any longer… But then you do it anyway. You see the world from a different angle. From the future looking back, what do you want to say of yourself. From under the water looking up, what do you want to know of yourself. From inside the helicopter looking down, what can you do for the world.