July Chaplain's Reflections
By 1st Lt. Matthew Gray, 169th Fighter Wing
/ Published July 01, 2017
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --
Summer is here and after a wonderfully successful Air & Ground Expo, it is now time for some relaxation and fun! This past year has been packed with activities from deployments, hurricane relief, to the planning and display of our capabilities here at McEntire. Many people from all over the state came to SC Guard Expo to watch jets roar into the sky, helicopters stealthily rise above the trees, and tanks shake the ground. While all these things were happening, the Chaplains were out in full force moving about and engaging with our guests who were in attendance.
Everyone I talked with during and after the expo was supremely impressed with what was on display! Their eyes were raised to the sky and their hearts were filled with pride. The ground shook and air thundered but it was your silent presence that had the most impact. None of what was accomplished could have happened without your hard work, done silently in the background. Your work roused the imagination of countless children to one day serve our nation; to become, pilots, engineers, scientists, and doctors.
While the technological capabilities on display were astounding, what people were truly proud of was you. That may surprise some because the thousands of people didn’t see all of the behind the scenes work done on the flight line, control tower, security forces, event management/logistics, medical, and many other areas, but they did and do appreciate what you did. They were impressed by the professionalism, dedication, and hospitality shown by the Airmen and Soldiers! Visitors would go out of their way to come over and thank us for our service because they realized the silent sacrifice made by all of us here at McEntire.
Know that the work you did, however small, made a huge impact in the lives of the people we serve and they are still talking about the great experiences they had. As a Chaplain, I would like to thank you for your service and for what you did to make it such a great experience for our community.
The fun they experienced in May was not only our work but also our honor. Now it is time for some summer fun ourselves. I hope and pray that you have a wonderful, fun, and safe summer that is filled with some well-deserved relaxation!