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News

Commentary: ‘Hang on’ through summer [Repost]

With the nice weather arriving here in Georgia, I thought about this commentary that I wrote nearly a decade ago. Sadly, my father and his friend Mel, whom I wrote about in several articles, have passed on from this world. But the many lessons they gave me in manhood remain. How so very lucky I was to have them in my life.

eartheditor

A friend of my father whom I have known since I was a child, I’ll call him “M” here,gave me my first safety lesson when I was about 10 years old.

I was standing short and skinny, in 1978, above a Class III river section with a helmet, a life jacket, and a big, black truck tire inner-tube, and he said, jokingly, “Hang on, Kid.”

It was my first run-in with danger, so I took this best friend of my father’s words very seriously.

“If you fall off, remember, keep your feet up, don’t drag them on the rocks, or you could get them caught in a crevasse and be pulled under,” he said. “You will be fine.”

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Short stories

Ignatius (a short story)

Ignatius
a short story

I returned to Tennessee for a few days to check on a few things. My wife calls me to say that she is shopping, and someone must’ve dialed for her. I assume her daughter is visiting.

It’s a 13-hour drive from Des Moines to Knoxville. I slept in my truck somewhere outside Memphis, just long enough to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. I’ve left an ICU-room chair that’s been my bed for nearly two months. My wife’s body is attached to many tubes and wires; her blonde hair is equally tangled and messed up like the dry, un-mowed lawn I find at our home. The windows are dark. The life that was is musty and aged.

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News

These streamers are broadcasting Airmen’s great accomplishments

Teaching enlisted professional military education to the total U.S. Air Force is instructors’ work. Still, the ability to recognize and share Airmen’s accomplishments on Graduation Day is the work of a much larger team at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.

That is why TEC’s public affairs broadcasters coordinated and rehearsed a recent virtual graduation ceremony from the television studios outside Knoxville in East Tennessee.

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commentary

Commentary: For usability’s sake

My blood pressure is high.

I know it is because I’ve been monitoring it for some time.

But this is not a health editorial for those who pull their sleeve up daily for a pressure cuff that will testify with memories of saltier meals.

We march through many stressful changes in the services. Some of us are managers and designers in the comprehensive technology that encircled us. And we know the universal question of what systems win battles and what makes us boil. Is it usable?

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News

Lodging building opens at Air Guard’s education center

The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s new lodging building opened on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in East Tennessee this month.

The 2,400 square foot building provides a large lobby area for customer service and room check-in/check-out for personnel attending enlisted professional military education in-residence training programs, professional continuing education, and base unit training assemblies.

TEC lodging includes 346 single and double occupancy rooms.

The brown brick building resides above the student parking lot on the eastern edge of the campus, out front and visible to arriving personnel. The location allows delivery drivers and others to park vehicles nearby without using pedestrian sidewalks, among many other improvements and additions. Its southeast entrance lets in ample morning sunlight and views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Officials said that they plan to convert the former billeting office at the Moon Hall dormitory building into increased dorm and support facilities, which will improve operational capacity.

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News

Airmen Crate medical equipment for Refugees [Repost]

With the 30th anniversary of the end of the cold war last week, I thought about this 2004 feature I wrote at the closed Plattsburgh Air Force Base. Winning the Cold War took uncountable sacrifices and missions from service members at those since shuttered bases and scrapped Navy ships, which now remain in veterans’ memories. BTW, please tell your representatives that they deserve an official Cold War federal service medal, not a print-from-home certificate.

eartheditor

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

PLATTSBURGH AIR FORCE BASE, N.Y. — With a hospital full of dusty medical equipment, thousands of refugees needing medical treatment, and the Gulf of Mexico in between, a small mission upstate recently called upon Airmen to aid in a miracle.

“I feel blessed to have met this group,” Sister Deb said. She looks across the broken down remains of what was once an emergency room as sharp clanking and banging sounds echo through an open doorway on her right. Something large and heavy is being lifted.

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News

Air Guard education center’s 2021 year-in-review

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — The I.G. Brown Training and Education Center navigated the year through reduced pandemic restrictions and returning in-resident classes, staff and leadership changes, VIP visits, and continual curriculum and campus renovations to finish 2021 with outstanding achievements.

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commentary

Commentary: Today’s differences from Cold War service on 30th milestone

This week, the dwindling veterans still serving in the military who experienced the Cold War first-hand may recall their true tales in winning it 30 years ago.

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commentary

Commentary: Permission and space to do nothing

For the would-be meditator, find your space to breathe and do nothing. It’s good for you as well as for the mission.

When the leaves on the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center colored the campus recently in their brilliant rust and gold fall blanket, I could not help but look outside to feel their glow spread out from our foothills view of the Great Smoky Mountains.

I decided to leave my desk and step out for a moment, taking my camera along, with no particular route around the base of what I would see.

Categories
commentary

Chief Carbon, the Air Guard’s 3rd senior enlisted leader, lives on

By a chance social media post, I learned about the death of retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Bernard Carbon; it is a loss of one of the Air National Guard’s great enlisted leaders.

Chief Carbon’s biography and image are displayed on a wall here, at the Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee, which shows all 13 of the Air National Guard’s Command Chief Master Sergeants, since the position began in 1975.