Dynamics in the desert

  • Published
  • By SMSgt. Sandra Santos
  • 932nd Airlift Wing
Asked what I have learned during this deployment, I can think of several things. 

The most significant realization is that I
was profoundly a part of something much
bigger than myself. 

Let me first say that I think prior
to departing, we instinctively took responsibility
for our families and ourselves
by developing financial plans, family support
systems and ensuring our employment
bonds were secure. 

Perhaps for most of us, our intrinsic desire to serve
our communities and our country is what
really motivated us to answer the call to

With that, it makes me proud to be
a part of this deployment and this organization.
And upon our return, it is with
great honor that I look forward to continuing
my service to the men and women
of the 932nd Airlift Wing as your next
Command Chief. 

At the heart of this deployment
has been the value of community, the
attitude that we are not individuals in
seclusion from each other, but members
of a team who depend on each other,
obligated to each other's success
through camaraderie. United from a
multitude of bases, this deployment was
rich in diversity, culture and ideas. 

Though dealing with diversity can be
challenging, the things that we shared
were far more important than
those which separated us. So
in order to achieve a more
successful military
community, we had to continue
to recognize and develop
everyone's potential and contribution
to the team. 

Throughout the deployment
we developed the ability
to direct individual accomplishments
toward common goals. 

However, effective teamwork did not grow
overnight or take the place of knowing
our individual jobs or how to manage the
work. Self-discipline and accountability
was crucial in the realization that decisions
determined one's own rewards and
consequences. Ultimately, we are responsible
for our own life's successes
and regrets. Thus wisdom and maturity
grew from never making excuses for
ourselves, but rather holding ourselves
accountable to a higher standard than
anyone else expects of us. 

Even though conflict was inevitable
when developing the dynamics of our
team, we worked through the rough spots
with successful resolution in order to
deliver a finished product of service to
humanity we can all be proud of. 

We developed friendships with
other Airmen, Soldiers, and civilians -
warriors. We experienced things that
most of us will not soon forget. And on
the way home, we carry in our professional
and personal toolbox lessons in
solidarity, obligation to community, tolerance,
accountability, and freedom.