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December Chaplain's Reflections

U.S. Air Force Capt. Matthew Gray, a chaplain assigned to 169th Fighter Wing, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Feb. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Matthew Gray, a chaplain assigned to 169th Fighter Wing, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Feb. 6, 2018. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Megan Floyd)

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

Hello Swamp Fox family!

I hope that you and your families are doing well and looking forward to the holidays. You may also be looking forward to celebrating New Year’s! Although I believe that it will not be so much of a celebration of the coming of the new year but rather the leaving behind of this past year!

It’s certainly been a very tough year for us. We’ve had to face many challenges together:

- COVID-19

- Loss of loved ones

- Quarantining

- Social distancing

- Wearing masks

- Riots

- Loss of jobs

- Not being able to go to church

- Children unable to visit their friends

- Strained marriages

- Allegations of election fraud

- Hong Kong protests

- Australian wildfires

- Kobe Bryant and his daughter killed in a helicopter crash

- 2020 Summer Olympics canceled

- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle renounce their royal duties and moved to Canada

- Chinese President Xi Jinping called on his troops to prepare for war

- Social media suppresses free speech and press

- A “planet killing” asteroid nearly collided with Earth

- California burned

And who can forget the Asian murder hornet invasion?! All of that and we still have one more month to go.

So looking back, some might not think there is much to look forward to, but there is! Even in the most difficult of times there is always good that can be seen. Good, that brings us hope! Like:

- A 103-year-old grandma beating COVID-19 and celebrating with a Bud Light

- Drive-in movie theaters making a comeback

- Tiger King somehow connected us

- Restaurants shared their secret recipes so we could make them at home

- Wearing sweatpants and a shirt/tie combo is an acceptable Zoom meeting dress

- People around the country brushed up on their sewing skills, making masks for people who need them

- Puzzles and board games became cool again

- Distilleries produced badly needed, and wonderfully smelling, hand sanitizer

- Ford, GM, Tesla worked together to make ventilators and other medical devices to help with the pandemic

- Crayola launched a box of crayons with diverse skin colors for children to accurately color themselves into the world

- We learned that homeschooling is hard and recognized teachers and parents for the heroes that they are

- Healthcare workers and essential workers are heroes too

- Family members got to know each other better

And we realized how much we love and need sports to unite us! 

So as we look back on 2020 we can see that much good came out of this year and we should not forget that. Life is a gift that is meant to be enjoyed. Yes, bad things do happen in life but we should give thanks for all the little things for they add up to a great deal and remind us that there is always hope even in the darkest of times. I hope that you are able to enjoy this last month of 2020. I wish you all the best, a happy holiday season! Please know that you are in my prayers!