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Center commander feels like he's already home for the holidays

Maj. Gen. Robert H. McMahon and his wife Hope. U. S. Air Force photo by Gary Cutrell

Maj. Gen. Robert H. McMahon and his wife Hope. U. S. Air Force photo by Gary Cutrell

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- "There's no place like home for the holidays."

The words to that old song ring so true for just about everyone. Hope and I certainly believe the sentiment, and we're looking forward to the festivities as we settle in here at Robins.

Yes, I know what you're thinking. This guy has spent 32 years in a career where your residence changes often enough to give Santa pause to check his list twice to verify he is really landing at the McMahon house.

But during our Robins relocation, my wife and I have discovered some wonderful factors at play. It has felt like a natural, comfortable move, and we happily have found more than a few good reasons to keep the lyric of that carol on our lips.

First of all, it is simply true that the Air Force is our home. From my days at the Academy to assignments from Illinois to Florida, from Japan to Washington, D.C., I have come to love this service and the work we do for the defense of our nation. The sense of community felt amongst Airmen is unmatched in any other profession. In essence our vocation is our way of life, and our care for each other and our families - that Wingman concept we take such pride in -- is a comfort and a blessing. This has been strength for me and my family at every stop on our Air Force journey.

And if we weren't comfortable enough just being in the familiar confines of an Air Force installation, the genuinely warm welcome we have received from the surrounding community has assured us we are home. It is great to be in such a fervently patriotic region where people take immense pride in the world's longest acronym, EDIMGIAFAD -- Every Day In Middle Georgia Is Armed Forces Appreciation Day. I know those aren't just words here. Our new neighbors prove their belief in those letters every day with their caring support and their heartfelt actions.

Then, of course, there is the job. There could be no better place for a career logistics officer to apply their experience and further their life's work than at an air logistics center, and I am immensely glad I get to do so with an organization the caliber of the magnificent team here. I am truly thankful for this assignment and am looking forward to the coming years as we build upon the 69-year success story that is the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center.

So you see, that song of the season does ring true for me. I have come to the right base and the best possible community to join the greatest team for my dream assignment. I have truly arrived home. And just in time for the holidays.

The advent of this festive time of year also serves to remind us of those whose efforts we support -- our warfighters. By their own, selfless choice to stand guard around the globe for our nation's sake, our deployed members will not be home for the holidays. Please, keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers, and be thankful that, due to their dedication and bravery, we live in freedom in this great country of ours.

Finally, I ask that you consider safety during all of your holiday activities. Take extra time to ensure your travel plans and your celebratory activities don't put you or your loved ones at risk. Redouble your efforts to think about safety -- for you, your families and your Wingmen.

The New Year will bring with it challenges old and new as we fulfill our vital mission of helping defend our beloved nation. Please, have a fun and festive holiday season and come back refreshed and ready for another successful year.

Hope and I wish each and every one of you the best of this joyous season and extend our wishes to you for a safe and happy New Year.