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NEWS | Oct. 16, 2009

Passion In Everything We Do

By Lt. Col. Timothy G. Lee 89th Aerial Port Squadron commander

"I ... do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States ..."

These are more than just words to those of us in the profession of arms. Our oath commits us to a noble journey; a journey towards a more perfect union, to provide for our common defense, and to secure the blessings of liberty for our nation and our posterity. Our efforts require us to be committed to our nation's strategic goals and prepared to make great sacrifices in their defense. Having passion for what we do is not an option - it's essential to our nation's future.

President John F. Kennedy, in his inaugural address in 1961, said, "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty." These truths are being tested today in every corner of the world. Our enemies are often difficult to identify and may walk among us. Make no mistake, we are in the fight of our lifetime; a protracted and asymmetric struggle that will challenge our resolve - our passion - in a way no other has.

Expertise, confidence, enthusiasm and conviction are hallmarks of passion. We must demonstrate our passion in everything we do! From stocking shelves to launching aircraft, from tidying-up our work space and assuring base operations to taking care of our fellow wingmen, believing in what we do is essential for mission success. We must continue to believe, America will always prevail regardless of the challenge. Passion gives us the power to persevere, and the moral and physical courage to act boldly on our beliefs ... and it is contagious. Because it can only be manifested through action, I look to you to bolster your teams with vision and enthusiasm. Share your expertise and conviction in every facet of the mission. Have the courage to lead by your actions and to leave your fingerprints behind.

"When there is an enemy to fight in open combat ... many serve, all applaud, and the tide of patriotism runs high. But when there is a long slow struggle, with no immediate, visible foe, your choice will seem hard indeed." Kennedy's immortal words have never been more appropriate. As we continue to forge ahead in this global struggle for freedom, ensure all you do contributes to mission success - let your passion shine through in everything you do!

As we head into this very busy and historic time in our nation's capital, be proud of what you do and mindful of how you leave your legacy to those you come into contact with. Take time this holiday season to be thankful for the treasures your nation has given you and give thanks to those that, every day, support your journey. In closing, thank you ... each and every one of you ... for the tremendous gift you have given your nation; your sacrifice, commitment, and passion are and will continue to be treasured by millions. I am honored to be among you ... our greatest generation. May God bless you and your families this holiday season.