One ID at a Time
Sometimes in the Air Force, we have to perform duties outside of our normal day-to-day job. This past week my office was tasked to augment the security forces by helping them check identification cards in the morning. This duty starts at 5:30 a.m. and goes until 9:00 a.m. and the purpose is to help control the flow of morning rush hour the installation’s four entry points.
While this duty is typically reserved for those Airmen in lower ranks, sometimes-higher ranks are tasked to assist as well. I fit the latter, as we have no lower ranked Airmen. This temporary duty is by no means a burden or beneath me – I find solace in working the junior Airmen. These are impressionable young Airmen, whom I have found lack mentors and/or helpful supervisors. This is not always the case…just something I have noted with each Airman I worked with. Many times they are lacking guidance and direction with the simplest of tasks, and often turn to their peers who do not proper guidance or procedure either.
Additionally, standing at the installation entry control point allows you (me) to see who is entering. Just like any other organization, the Air Force is a snapshot of society. When we speak of Airman (big A), we speak about enlisted, officers, and our civilians. The mission could not or would not be accomplished without these dedicated professionals.
So, standing and waiting for the next Airman to arrive in their vehicle is a task in itself. No matter the temperature or weather conditions, we (13 augmentees) stand there waiting. Weak shoulders become strong (or sore) due to the constant of rising and lowering of your arm to stop traffic. Feet get a true feeling of what it means to stand on them without moving. They become sore pretty fast. Time and time again we greet each arriving vehicle – not knowing who is pulling up. Not everyone who visits a military installation is there for work, so we have to be on our guard.
However, there was an elderly lady who made my day. Our shift was nearing the end, so when she pulled up and handed me her ID there was a piece of paper behind it. As I checked the ID’s details, I realized what paper was. It was a business card printed with these words, “Thank you…for your sacrifice for our country.” This left me feeling very humbled.
Having the opportunity to help other is very rewarding, plus I am able to get away from my desk. I feel, a lot of times we get hung up on what is in front of us and forget there is a world of opportunity waiting. Being able to talk and mentor our young Airmen is very rewarding.
My path is guided and shaped by many outside influences.