Drinking affects everyone; accept the consequences

  • Published
  • By Capt. Vince King Jr.
  • 95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Imagine growing up with two parents, but in separate households. You live with your father along with your brother and sister, while your mother roams the city streets looking for something to make her feel good. 

She left your family at an early age, because she loved the taste of alcohol more than her children. She couldn't break the habit, which she lived with for more than 20 years. 

She inherited a disease, alcoholism, from her family. Growing up, that's all she knew, wanted and did. 

Now, the father is a single parent, raising three kids, having a tough time keeping them all on the "straight and narrow."

Picture your two siblings rebellious, always acting out, constantly in trouble, drinking and smoking at a young age. 

If you must know, this was a synopsis of my life growing up. 

I always believed that children are the reincarnation or reflection of their parents. And in some ways they often make the same decisions and mistakes as well. 

Both my brother and sister inherited my mothers' disease -- excessive drinkers, smokers and anything else you can imagine. 

Some might even say they reached that "glass ceiling." You know, high school dropouts, not being able to advance further or beyond the streets of the local neighborhood. 

Don't get me wrong, much like many others, I do enjoy the taste here and there, but let's just say that's all they know. 

As a 29-year-old, I can't say that I have experienced everything, however when it comes to alcoholism and the effects it has on the entire family, I've experienced a lot. 

Well you may be asking, "what does this have to do with me?" The Air Force does everything it can for its Airmen, if not find alternate ways to entertain themselves, but to provide positive options to remain safe while drinking in a public or private venue.
Initiatives such as Edwards' 277-AADD and its reinforced Wingman program are designed to safeguard Airmen. 

These programs were developed in your best interests; however many of you aren't even taking advantage of the programs. 

Instead, you would rather risk your own life, career, family and friends because you decided to drink and consequently do something stupid. 

My only advice to you is -- be smart. Use the initiatives that base leadership has adopted; make sure you have a wingman. 

And if you think these programs aren't working, then let's hear from you. What would help you make the right choice? 

If you know of someone who is an excessive drinker, and you believe they need help, tell them. Be a good wingman, talk to them about their actions and help them on the right path to recovery. Don't ignore it. Sooner or later it will affect their work, family and their future. 

For the curious minds, imagine your mother away from her children, never seeing them and possibly talking to them about once a year. What a parent, right? 

Imagine it being Thanksgiving eve, she is so intoxicated, she can barely walk straight; she's tired and decides to sit down on the escalator stairs, when her scarf gets caught.
Now you imagine the rest. Is this something you would like to become, do or witness? 

Alcoholism is a disease, one that you can prevent from occurring. Be smart. Drink responsibly. Get a wingman.