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April 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!  It is a pleasure to write you again as I have been away attending Officer Training School at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Throughout the last nine weeks, I was reintroduced to U.S. Air Force history and tradition which strengthened my appreciation for the awesome organization we serve. The Tuskegee museum and the Enlisted Airmen Hall were a couple of sites visited and I highly recommend these locations if you have the opportunity to travel to Maxwell AFB. 

Following up on my OTS experience, I would not be telling the truth if said the course was easy.  There were multiple times when I found myself being tested with various circumstances that would later strengthen my appreciation for the military instructors, both commissioned and enlisted, who poured so much of their own time and energy into molding future officers to lead within the USAF. 

Although the USAF is spread across the globe, we play an intricate part in the global reach of the military and I couldn’t help but think of the SCANG and how thankful I am for our Airmen and the leadership at McEntire JNGB. Do you recognize your role as a leader? All Airmen are leaders in various aspects of their career. Whether it be on the flightline, at a desk, driving a vehicle or securing a checkpoint, you are a leader. The USAF needs your skills and talents to continue to deter our adversaries and to promote global stability in lands far away. 

Currently our nation is facing a pandemic. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is challenging many areas of our country in regard to medical support, food and transportation. Your role as a Swamp Fox may be brought to the forefront as new challenges arise each day. This is written not to trouble you but to give you a sense of purpose and confidence in the coming days. 

Just as the Tuskegee Airmen were challenged and put to the test, so is this generation. Allow the book of James to provide a sense of duty and accomplishment in the tasks at hand. Chapter 1, verses 2-4 read, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” As a member of the SCANG Chaplain Corps, I stand beside you in persevering through these trying times.

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