Edwards expeditionary Airman shares thoughts on deployment

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Dave Smith
  • 412th Test Management Group Deputy
Today marks four months since I stepped onto that jet at Los Angeles International Airport and started my current set of experiences. It has been remarkable, (fun, not so much--remarkable you bet). There have been high and low times, but a constant has been the support from home station and around the country. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and wishes.

I should return in the next three to four weeks or so, and look forward to stepping back into warfighter support from the flight test center perspective.

I have learned a great deal and in this "great deal" are a few things that will be further emphasized and/or incorporated more into my life: 

- It's OK to work with true passion, people and missions depend on us!
- It's OK to take care of ourselves, I went over 430 running miles last night on the way to my deployed goal of 500
- It's OK to relax, be with friends, and have a cigar under the stars.
- It's OK the be 100 percent vigilant, one never knows when rockets are inbound.
- It's OK to cry.
- It's OK and essential, to laugh!
- Smile everyday, sometimes this is a challenge, but always better than the alternative.
- Next time you walk past a Rose bush, take a sniff.

When you next wake up at 0-dark-30 for that mission, exercise, critical meeting, or to leave town for a major deployment and you look at your baby in their crib, sound asleep, remember to tell your self that it's all worth it, and that little peaceful human is the perfect example of why.

God bless you all, and Inshallah will see you mid-September.