Just Checking In

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. William Phelps
  • 621 Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

“When things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that comes from it.” This was a resounding quote I heard from a Jocko Willink podcast. We are in an unprecedented time in our history right now. A lot of us are frustrated, scared or uncertain of many things.  Understandably so. I am, however, a firm believer that from everything bad, there is going to be some goodness gained from it. A few examples of this I have seen over the past few weeks are that we, as a nation and service, have learned to adapt and overcome in an uncertain environment. As a nation, we have rallied around our frontline heroes who are fighting this pandemic. We have improvised by making masks for the healthcare professionals that needed it, and donated goods and services to those in need. As an Air Force, we have adapted our operations to mitigate the impact it has on our readiness. We have learned new ways to communicate, and improved the way we communicate.

In my opinion, the most important action we have taken as a service is that we are checking in on each other more. This is the most good that has come from the bad. There are many people struggling with this situation and the simple gesture of checking in on someone is making the difference. COVID-19 is not the only life occurrence going on right now. All the normal challenges of life are still happening, and we do not have our conventional ways of coping with them. If you are a friend or co-worker and are wondering about someone, contact them. If you are a leader and are concerned about your subordinate, get them on the phone or pay them a visit in person — socially distanced of course. You could even go old school and write a letter if you want to show you care. If needed for someone you know, recommend those helping resources such as Military and Family Life Consultants, mental healthcare professionals, chaplains, or Military OneSource to name a few. If needed for yourself, take a knee and get the help you need. You are cared about and you are important.

Once things get back to what we consider the “new normal” and the dust settles, we have to continue checking in with each other to make sure that those people who are struggling know they are cared for. You never know if the simple gesture of checking in and asking, “How are you doing?” could save a life. It takes minimal time to do so and can make a maximum impact on someone. All of our experiences will be different coming out of this, but one thing is certain: we are all in this together.

I will end by asking everyone reading this: how are you doing?