Airplanes don’t stay up in the air all by themselves. It takes the dedication of many maintainers to keep them flying and in the military those dedicated professionals are out there on the flight line 24/7, 365 days a year.
The pay is low, the weather extremes are brutal, the tempo is high, and their pride is unbounded.
Last Friday evening I had the privilege of attending an awards banquet for an Air Force Maintenance Group. It was held in a hangar, with engines for ambiance, and a huge American flag setting the tone. In one corner of the room families and young couples were playing corn hole. The delicious aroma of BBQ sauce permeated the area near the food tables and for once, the outside of the room filled their plates first, with the Commanders’ tables being the last to eat. All was as it should be.
Awards were given out, camaraderie was evident, and I’ve never been prouder to be a military spouse.
Banquets happen once a year and only a few go home with the hardware. My hope is that each and every day someone thanks a maintainer on that flight line with a pat on the back, a smile of gratitude, a helping hand or a high-five for a job well done.
The big awards are nice but it’s the everyday rewards that make a difference in daily life.
Be the person that delivers that reward.
Incidentally, any banquet that doesn’t require a long dress and heels is the perfect banquet in my book; a reward in itself!