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120th Maintenance Group Commander Col. Buel Dickson.

120th Maintenance Group Commander Col. Buel Dickson.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- With our ever busy lives which we all seem to be facing each day, it's easy to let time with our families slip lower and lower on the priority list.  Spending time with family helps create strong bonds with our spouses and children that can carry them and you through difficult times.  These times seem to be popping up more frequently in today's fast paced world. 

Whether you are married or not, relationships can ground us, giving us a sense of purpose and well-being.  Quality time with family and friends will be different for each person, but it is important that you make it a priority for yourself, your family, and your important support people.

I know this may sound a bit mushy coming from me, but I bring it up not only for your well-being, but also for the Air National Guard.  When things are going well with our relationships outside work it spills over into our mission as Airmen.  It is easier to give 100 percent to the task at hand when we don't have to worry about issues in our personal lives.  A lot of those issues can be more easily handled when we have built up strong bonds with the important people in our lives. 

My intent in writing this is to bring these thoughts to the forefront, on the eve of planned Family Day events this weekend and prior to our deployments.  I encourage each of you to take advantage of the Family Day picnic to jump start the summer with quality time opportunities.

On the personal front, take the time to strengthen existing bonds or form new ones.  On the work front, take the time to train in your AFSC to be the best that you can be.  It will be tasking on everyone when we deploy, especially for our families and support people.  Preparation can make this experience easier for them, in turn making you more effective in your military mission. 

The water heater always knows when you are going to be gone and chooses this time to stop working (how does it know this?) but your efforts now to tie up all loose ends can make life's mishaps less stressful when you are deployed.  Please utilize all that the Guard has to offer for family support and utilize your leadership as a tool to ensure that you have adequate resources and support for your Guard life and your personal life. Please don't hesitate to ask myself or any other member of senior leadership for help with any issues if needed.

The 120th Airlift Wing has become well known throughout Air Mobility Command in a short time period. This positive recognition comes from the exemplary manner in which all of you perform your duties. Your work ethic, professionalism, and "can do" attitude have put us on the map as Vigilantes and as a wing that does it right! The people in the wing have always proven their worth to the total force and I am positive that this deployment will be no different.  I am proud to serve alongside all of you within the Montana Air National Guard and I thank you for what you do to keep America strong!

"Family is not an important thing. It's Everything." -Michael J. Fox
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