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Commentary | Feb. 23, 2010

Appreciation, the new app

By Senior Airman Zachary Wolf 633d Air Base Wing Public Affairs

One thing everyone can always use more of is appreciation. Some Air Force jobs may seem meaningless at times, but every job is important to accomplish the mission.

Showing your appreciation to Airmen in all career fields can help build morale and confidence in the significance of every job.

Taking the time to give thanks and appreciation to Airmen shows how much you care about the job they do and the sacrifices they make daily to keep the mission going. Many Airmen struggle with loneliness and hopelessness, some being away from home and loved ones for the first time. A simple, "Thank you" or "Good job" could make their day that much better.

Showing our Airmen appreciation for their hard work could lead to increased self-esteem and morale, building a more confident and capable corps of fifth-generation Airmen. Empowering our troops with confidence instills self-worth, which in turn may prevent suicide.

When asked, most Airmen reply that they joined the Air Force to serve their country with pride-not for glory and praise.

"I don't worry about appreciation from man," said Senior Airman Nicholas Litton, 1st Equipment Maintenance Squadron supply liaison, adding that the love and guidance he finds in his faith drives him.

"I do feel good when people say, 'Thank you,' but it's not what matters the most," he added. "I do the job I signed up to do, regardless of the praise."

Personally, it meant a lot to me when a lieutenant treated me and two other Airmen to lunch to thank us for helping her. Appreciation doesn't always come with a cost, but the outcome can change someone's life for good.

Doing the same job every day can make it seem mundane and, at times, pointless; however, thanks and appreciation can invigorate an otherwise boring, repetitive job into a rewarding experience, and may even replicate the feeling of being new to the job all over again.

Appreciation does not always come from those around you. The most important appreciation comes from within. Appreciate the job you do and do the best you can every day. We are the defenders of freedom and justice, securing liberty for our family, friends and countrymen. Our service is invaluable to our nation, and to ourselves, and takes courage and commitment.

The next time you see an Airman serving lunch at the dining facility, checking identification cards at the gate, or walking to or from work, thank them for what they do. It could be their saving grace.