Enlisted heritage: A force that binds us together

PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- Heritage, you've heard a lot of this term as a part of the Air Force's 60th anniversary celebration, but what is it? Some would say it's something someone is born to; it could be a legal inheritance, or that it is passed from generation to generation. To people in the military I believe it's much more.

There are many organizations that claim heritage but it's normally not the same. When was the last time you heard an employee say, "I'm in Wal-Mart...or I'm in Safeway?" Probably not, but you'll hear an Airman, Marine, Soldier or Sailor profess, "I'm in the military."

It's our heritage that ties us together. How exactly does this happen? We recognize the things that make us unique; our dress, our customs and courtesies, or even the way we socialize. We draw solidarity through our experiences, and we have a strong bond forged from the duty we are united to perform. Perhaps the strongest of these is the unlimited liability clause; meaning we have agreed to, if called upon to put ourselves in mortal danger at the behest of our Nation.

Those who have accomplished this duty in the past, at the end of their time have faithfully handed their legacy, their best, to us. It's up to us to now take this heritage of courage, duty, honor, country and make it our own. We must carry it forward, so that when we turn it over to the next Airmen who graduate from basic training, they won't wonder how we could have let it slip.

On May 11, we'll have a special opportunity to remember the past and look toward the future, we'll be able to celebrate and share in our heritage through an Enlisted Dining Out. Take the time to reflect upon the legacy we have built as enlisted men and women. If you've attended a dining out before, make sure to enthusiastically share this with your Airmen, do your part to carry on our heritage.

The Enlisted Dining Out is May 11. Social Hour begins at 6 p.m. Cost is $15 for E-4 and below, $20 for E-5 and E-6, and $25 for E-7 and above. Dinner choices include London broil, roasted stuffed chicken and a limited number of vegetarian main courses.

For information, contact Staff Sgt. Alexander Rodriguez at 556-3444 or Staff Sgt. Jessica McNabb at 556-1609, or see any first sergeant for ticket information.