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As 2017 came to a close, our New York Military Forces were busy helping to respond to three different hurricanes while continuing our regular training and mis-sions. We had more than 700 Soldiers and Airmen on duty, deploying, waiting to deploy, moving people and equipment, and packing over 5,000 boxes with donated supplies.
The operations tempo for 2018 will not let up. The Air Guard will keep flying missions and deploying Airman and many of our Army Guard units will find their training schedule kicked into high gear. And snow storms will happen. Domestic operations missions will pop up.
So as we head into 2018, make sure you take time to be with your families. Spend time with the special people in your life and make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their support so you can continue to serve.
I've written before about the importance of getting to know each other and really talking. As I was preparing for a Veterans Day talk I came across a story that I think, makes the case for this kind of communication.
The article, written by James Moschgat, who is now on the staff of the Air War College, is called “A Janitor's Ten Lessons in Leadership.” In it, Moschgat relates how nobody paid much attention to old Bill Crawford, the janitor who cleaned his dorm while he was a cadet at the Air Force Academy in 1976.
At 58, Mr. Crawford was an old man to the cadets in their early 20s. He was shy, he was quiet, and he was the janitor.
Then one day in 1976, Moschgat realized that Bill Crawford had received the Medal of Honor as a private in the Army in Italy during the Italian campaign. Shy, quiet, Bill Crawford had single-handedly attacked fortified German positions repeatedly before he was wounded and taken prisoner.
Moschgat and his fellow cadets realized that Mr. Crawford was more than just a janitor. He was a hero, a veteran Soldier, and he had lessons to pass on.
Once the cadets found out who he was they invited him to squadron functions and learned from him, even as he continued to keep their building spotless.
Moschgat said he learned ten important things from Mr. Crawford, who died in 2000, and I would like to pass them along. Here are his lessons:
I think these are lessons worth learning. Don’t miss out when your own Mr. Crawford comes into your life.