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Commander comments on highlights of past week

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 21st Space Wing was privileged to host the Peterson National Prayer Breakfast Feb. 7. Just like the National Prayer Breakfast held each year in our nation's capital, the purpose of the base's local ceremony is to reaffirm our faith and dependence in the power of prayer. Regardless of our backgrounds, whether we practice different religions or have other differences that separate us, prayer is "the great common" that bridges that divide. 

The highlight of the event was the speech by Chap. (Brig. Gen.) Cecil Richardson, Deputy Chief of the Air Force Chaplain Service. It was an honor to have him as our guest speaker. His personal touch in providing meaningful and personal stories combined with more than 30 years of service in the Air Force made for a truly inspiring speech. I had heard he was a wonderful speaker, but his message really hit the mark for those who attended. 

I also appreciate the tremendous support the wing received in putting the event together. Chap. (Capt.) Ronald Feeser did a terrific job as the action officer for the ceremony and I know he is thankful for the contributions of everyone who participated or volunteered. The music, singing and readings were superb, and I'm happy that so many people from the Team Peterson community were able to come out and enjoy the event. 

Another key event from that week was the grand opening of the Family Services and Airman's Attic Center. I'm extremely proud of the work that took place to relocate the Airman's Attic from the basement of the Columbia Dormitory to the new location at the old base exchange's garden center. Services offered by the Airman's Attic include providing free quality household items to our E-1 through E-5 households. For example, children's clothes, kitchen items, furniture, toys and military uniforms are all available to these customers. 

Our Family Services Center, co-located with the Airman's Attic, will continue to offer a wealth of relocation services to all ranks, including the Loan Locker that so many people have taken advantage of in the past. As an added bonus, the Tierra Vista Communities housing privatization office will be located next door to Family Services in the latter part of May. Having all of these facilities so close together is a natural fit, especially for personnel moving into base housing, and will provide even better support to our Airmen than there was before. 

There are so many people to thank for their efforts in making this move a huge success. First and foremost, the volunteers have done an amazing job with their countless hours of service. Led by Kimberly Trent at the Airman's Attic and Sharon Hodges from Family Services, they've been champions in their dedication to continuing to improve the services offered to our military community. Additionally, the 21st Mission Support Group as well as the 21st Mission Support and Civil Engineer Squadrons have worked tirelessly in getting this facility up and running. They fully understand that part of our wing's mission is to provide unsurpassed installation support and they've done that extremely well with this project. 

The capstone to the week was being able to pin technical sergeant-stripes on Staff Sgt. Margaret Killoy of the 21st Space Communications Squadron. Lt. Gen. William Shelton, 14th Air Force commander, selected Sergeant Killoy to receive a Stripes for Exceptional Performers, or 'STEP' promotion. She's been a phenomenal performer her entire Air Force career and it was my honor to surprise her with this on-the-spot STEP promotion. The STEP program awards promotions to only those Airmen who are clearly the most outstanding performers. As NCO in charge of the wing's computer security program, her list of achievements is remarkable; she is very deserving of this honor. As I said the day of her promotion, handing out a STEP promotion is one of the best things I get to do as a wing commander. I'm thankful to General Shelton for allowing me the opportunity to present now-Tech. Sgt. Killoy's stripes on his behalf. 

As we approach the four-day weekend with Feb. 15's Air Force Space Command family day and President's Day Feb. 18, I want to remind everyone to stay safe and stay focused. If you will be doing any sort of traveling, please ensure you have a solid plan before walking out the door -- all of us want you back safely. Don't think for a minute that things will take care of themselves or fall into place on their own. Have a great weekend, use your wingman and I'll see you back at work Feb. 19.