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December's Chaplain's Reflections

1st Lt. Kirby Whitley, a chaplain assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Kirby Whitley, a chaplain assigned to the 169th Fighter Wing, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., May 3, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Megan Floyd)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

            Hello Fellow Swamp Foxes! I pray this year was a blessed one for you and the New Year will bring health, happiness and prosperity. As a member of your Chaplain Corps, our staff is continually lifting you up and making ourselves available for whatever challenges come your way. It is a true honor to serve our great nation, state and fellow Airmen as we continue to protect our interests against those who want to do us harm. 

            As this year ends, I want to encourage you to finish this year strong. The human spirit has the ability to touch us in many ways and as I was researching for an encouraging story to share, the 1992 Olympics in Atlanta caught my eye. Sporting events bring out the remarkable desire to win and to finish strong. YouTube has many videos depicting this story if you would like to check it out to view the emotional struggle which took place. In the 400M semi-finals, Derrick Redmon (UK) was the favorite to win this heat after breaking the Great Britain record in the world finals. When the race began, he was staged in lane five; perfect for making the move when all lanes come together for the last lap, but it was not meant to be. Along the backstretch, Redmond pulled a hamstring and was left behind as the pack moved towards the finish line. As the Olympic staff attempted to remove him from the track, he insisted to finish the race. As he hobbled down the track he feels someone pick him up from behind. It was his dad. Without giving you all the details, they both crossed the finish line.

            There are moments in our lives where we may find ourselves needing an extra hand to finish the last leg of the race, to see the finish line. Look to your left and right, your wingman is there to grab your arm and pull you across the finish line as well. 1 Corinthians 9:24 reads, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” As we continue to wrap up the year 2019, look back to where you have come and to where you want to go. The SCANG provides amazing opportunities for you to see the finish line and gain your prize. Whether it be on the flightline launching planes or in finance pushing papers, your job is important; you are important. Finish this year strong and don’t hesitate to reach out for your brother or sister in arms if you’re ever in need for that extra push across the finish line. Semper Primus!

Be on the lookout for next year’s Strong Bond events, details to be released soon!

If you desire more information or support on spiritual strength or religious provisions, please call the SCANG Chaplain Corps office at 803-647-8265