Serve something greater than yourself: America

  • Published
  • By Maj. Gregory M. Kuzma
  • 46th Aerial Port Squadron commander
The profession of arms is a calling to serve something greater than yourself, which means living the core values and embodying the Airman's Creed every day, whether you are on or off duty. These core standards of conduct guide us through difficult challenges in the environment in which we live and work.

We Airmen affirmed this commitment of service when we took our oath of office. One of the first things that comes to my mind, when I think about serving my country, is deploying to a far-away land to support the mission. However, it is easy to overlook the fact that supporting the mission can also include serving our community here at home. In fact, sometimes we can serve our neighbors right on our doorstep.

Recently, the northeast United States experienced one of the worst natural disasters in recent history with Hurricane Sandy. Although considered a weak hurricane by some, the amount of impact was widespread: millions of people in 15 states, to include the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, experienced either a loss of electrical power, high winds, fires, storm surges, flooding or worse: injury or death. This storm really hit close to home for me as my friend's uncle lost his home when it caught fire and burned to the ground during the storm. His family is just one of thousands of American families whose lives have changed forever.

So, what can we as Airmen do to help serve our community during these difficult times? We can donate blood, volunteer to help at a shelter, organize a fundraiser, give money or clothing donations to a charitable organization such as the Air Force Aid Society. Other examples of these organizations are:

- the Salvation Army,
- the Humane Society,
- the Army Emergency Relief Fund,
- the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
- and the Red Cross.

For the high-tech Airmen, there are several Red Cross applications, also known as apps, for mobile devices with emergency information at your fingertips.

Serving in the Air Force, whether home station or forward deployed, is more than just doing your job to get the mission done. With today's technology, mobile resources and many charitable organizations, it is easier than ever to serve your community here at home for those Americans who are most in need.