Our nation needs every one of you

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Airmen of AFSPC,

I am deeply saddened by yet another Air Force suicide, this one in our own command. Tragically, this is our fourth suicide in AFSPC over the last two years, and I am left asking what more we could have done to prevent this loss. As the Senior Airman in this command, I am informed of every suicide in the Air Force. The sad truth is that suicide does not discriminate. Airmen of any gender, age, race, religion or background can be at risk. So our best method of combatting suicide is to indiscriminately focus on our Air Force family, build resiliency, and constantly reinforce our Wingman culture.

From day one in the Air Force, every Airman must feel like part of our family. Every Airman must feel that they have a wingman who will answer their call in their darkest hours. We have exceptional medical personnel, dedicated chaplains, Commanders and First Shirts who regularly make a difference in many seemingly hopeless situations. But it is you and I that are on the frontlines every day. It is you and I that can look into the eyes of our fellow Airmen, see that something is wrong, and ask them if we can help.

It is a tremendously stressful time in the command with high operations tempo and change on every horizon. So please reach out to your fellow brothers and sisters-in-arms and make a difference in their lives. Look out for each other. I need every one of you to push this command into the future. More importantly, our nation needs every one of you to be its sword and shield.

Sincerely,

John Hyten