Promotions, rubbing shoulders, and a new office

Today was a day for promotion ceremonies. I woke early to greet a bunch of our troops returning from deployment and to kick off the process for their reintegration back home. I then moved to the Chapel for final preparations for a high visibility event, the promotion of our Wing Chaplain Charlie R. Stutts to full colonel. We had many distininquished visitors including commanders from our own base but also including Generals from the Chaplain service as well as the one star who commands the 89th Airlift Wing. My role was to narrate the ceremony, which I truly enjoyed. I have to say it gave a good feeling to see Chaplain Stutts finally wearing eagles. He works hard. They look right on him.

Later that afternoon, I provided the invocation for the promotion ceremony of our enlisted folks who are putting on extra stripes this month. The pride and comradery was very evident. Our Wing Commander mentioned during his closing comments that he gets alot of encouragement from the smiles and energy of these new promotees as they come up before the group to receive their recognition and shake his hand. I too find the day to be sort of like a pep rally, with each of the units showing their pride in their people through chants and cheers.

One really great thing about these ceremonies is the opportunity to rub shoulders and share conversation with all kinds of folks - from commanders of various units, all the way up to the Wing Command and Command Master Chief, as well as the young airman putting on his first stripe. All share in common a great love for their nation and a dedication to excellence and service.

As I said before, Chief Master Sergeant Gerald Murray, who is the highest ranking enlisted member of the United States Air Force serving as the Master Sergeant of the Air Force, comes to our chapel for services. It is a true treat to be able to speak with him and hear what he sees and hears out all over the world from the troops he visits with and to hear his concern for each of them and their families. Again, what I hear from so many people is admiration for the hard work and dedication our personnel are putting forth in this war on terror for the benefit of the nation. I can't say enough how much of an honor it is to serve with people of such character.

On a different note, I'm working on a new office within one of my squadrons that I provide care to. The Civil Engineering Squadron is making space for me in their HQ building. I plan to split my time between their location and my chapel 1 office. I'm going to visit sometime tomorrow or Friday to look at the space they are giving me. Being with the troops -- that's where ministry is at.