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December Chaplain's Reflections

Lt. Col. Brian Bohlman, 169th Fighter Wing Chaplain at McEntire JNGB, S.C., February 1, 2012.
(National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

Lt. Col. Brian Bohlman, 169th Fighter Wing Chaplain at McEntire JNGB, S.C., February 1, 2012. (National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE -- During the month of December, I typically take time to reflect on what has taken place in my life and my family's life over the past year. This is a healthy practice and reminder that each of us need to know where we've been in order to know where we're going.

As you take time to reflect and remember, perhaps this year you got married, had a child, started a new job, received a promotion, completed an academic degree or level of Professional Military Education...these are just a few examples of things to be celebrated. At the same time, perhaps you experienced some difficulties over the year in the form of loss...death of a friend or family member, loss of personal possessions or property during the recent floods, unexpected deployment tasking, strained or failed relationship. The truth is that probably many of us have experienced both joy and sorrow over the past year.

While the holiday season is often filled with joy and celebrations, for some it can be a painful reminder of an annual loss that they've experienced. If this is true for you, please don't ignore the pain; talk to someone who cares. As you think about reaching out during the holiday season, please keep the following things in mind:

- Reach UP to your faith or beliefs that give you strength and hope. Turn to rituals and traditions that can help heal the pain of loss. Coming together with others in the community can also help.

- Reach DOWN to help others in need and refer them to caring resources. Your Chaplain Corps, Wing Director of Psychological Health, and Airman & Family Readiness Program Manager have a plethora of resources. Download the "Ready Airman" app on your smartphone for a list of local, state, and national resource contacts.

- Reach OUT to take someone's hand and walk with them in grief, loss and pain. Don't leave an Airman or anyone behind to suffer alone. Take the initiative to reach out and connect with them. Don't assume that their okay either. They won't tell you until you ask them how they are processing their loss.

In summary, never forget this powerful, wise saying, "To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world." Read this again and let its message sink into your spirit! Be that ONE PERSON during the holiday season by making a difference in someone's life.

Thank you for your dedication to duty and remember that the SCANG Chaplain Corps stands with you in times of joy as well as sorrow. We are honored to serve in your midst as a visible reminder of the Holy. May each of you experience God's grace, peace and blessing during this holy season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your SCANG Chaplain Corps!