Give thanks in every circumstance

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Deron Frailie
  • 8th Civil Engineer Squadron commander
As I was dealing with emotions in response to the third crazy event of the day -- I reflected on a lesson I was taught as a child -- "give thanks in every circumstance."

Returning to my room, I thought about where I was a year ago, in Iraq with U.S. Special Forces closing bases and drawing down the United States' presence after eight years of sustained combat operations. It occurred to me in the last year, not one person (except maybe the crazy D.C. drivers) tried to bring me physical harm.

Second, looking around my dorm room, my thoughts turned to my wife and three children whom I miss terribly every day. I realized how very blessed I am that they are being cared for and looked after in my absence. I have the privilege of serving alongside 106 phenomenal Korean civilians who selflessly serve and support the Wolf Pack's mission year in and year out.

The Red Devil's Korean civilians make each of my 199 Airmen feel welcome and make sure we have a home away from home. Similarly, each member of the Wolf Pack is cared for and looked after by our amazing Korean co-workers. Our Korean partners have selflessly done this for many years and will do it for many more years to come. How much has changed in a year, and yet how much is the same. Remind yourself when you are feeling alone this holiday season that we are all surrounded by family -- we have each other, Airmen, Partners, Korean co-workers, all part of the Pack.

Finally, I started thinking through the reality that we can't control everything. Often times we do not control our assignments or who we work with. Despite all that, I believe each of us does the best we can each day and sometimes, despite our best effort, things just don't go the way we envisioned.

Every Wolf Pack Airman looks after and helps one another daily. I love to get a "Hello," a wave, or a simple smile from my Red Devils. Pause each day, especially when all seems to go astray, and reflect on the circumstances and see what the day has to teach. I imagine you will find something new.

As I was getting ready for bed and bringing another day to an end, it became very clear each of us has so much to be thankful for. First, we're fortunate to not be in any real harm (most of the time). Second, despite the fact Kunsan Airmen come and go each year, our Korean partners bridge the continuity gap and teach us things about the base, welcome us all with open arms, and more importantly show us kindness, respect and partnership. Finally, despite all the craziness that goes on, if we maintain a team approach, we find a better way and discover something new.

As I turned out the light, the lesson from my childhood was really evident. We need to "give thanks in every circumstance."