Armed Forces Voters’ Week

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Armed Forces Voters' Week began on Aug. 31 and continues through Sept. 7, with the goal of getting service members, their families and Department of Defense civilians the absentee ballots required to participate in the upcoming election.

While our political process is in full gear, it is important for our active duty and civilians to be aware of acceptable political activity and limitations. Not intending to catalog all aspects of participation, Air Force active-duty members can register to vote and express a personal opinion on political candidates and issues but not as a representative of the Armed Forces. Air Force active-duty members may never use their official authority or influence to interfere with an election, including soliciting votes or contributions on behalf of a candidate.

If you have questions on voting, Gail Whalen and Lt. Col. Chuck Chambers are the installation's voting officers. They can assist you in finding information on accessing the documents and tools necessary to register, request ballots and vote. Further, visiting the Federal Voting Assistance Program website at www.fvap.gov can also be used to ensure you have the information needed to vote. Either way it's your right ... vote!

Last week, I hosted a commander's call, and it was my privilege to present a Bronze Star Medal to Staff Sgt. Layne Mayerstein, and Combat Action Medals to Staff Sgts. Aaron Butts and Christopher Seligman. On behalf of the entire 21st Space Wing, please accept my congratulations for the very well-deserved recognition.

Also last week, a few of our defenders from the 21st Security Forces Squadron received top accolades during the Rocky Mountain K-9 Trials, and Chief Master Sgt. Tim Omdal and I had the pleasure of visiting them both.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Villalobos and his K-9, Donja, took six awards:
2nd place Building Search
1st place Patrol and Detection
1st place Obedience
1st place Area Search
1st place Hander Protection
1st place Top Patrol Dog Team.

Staff Sgt. Robert Fowler and his K-9, King, took 4 awards:
3rd place Handler Protection
2nd place Area Search
3rd place Obedience
2nd place Top Patrol Dog Team

Congratulations to you both on a job well done!

Finally, on Sept. 2, we had the privilege of hosting Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, our new Air Force chief of staff. During his "Airmen's Call," I noted a key point: every Airman in every specialty is a leader and is equally important regardless of how close you are to the fight. So, no matter if you are supporting an in-lieu-of tasking with the Army in Iraq or processing performance reports here on Peterson -- we are all equally valuable.

Thanks to all for once again making Peterson a model base -- one we can all be proud to call home.