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FRONT & CENTER: Reintroducing the 'Wingman concept'

Col. Jay Pittman, Jr., is the commander of the 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Col. Jay Pittman, Jr., is the commander of the 302nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- On Sunday afternoon of the June Unit Training Assembly, units within the 302nd Airlift Wing took time away from regular training activities to call attention to the recent rise in Air Force suicides, the tragic loss of Airmen to private motor vehicle accidents and to reintroduce the Wingman concept.

Even though the stand down has ended, I encourage every member of the 302nd Airlift Wing to continue thinking about the topics discussed and personally take on the responsibilities of being a Wingman; look out for others, be dependable, accountable, resourceful, responsible and committed. The Wingman concept is more than an event; it's a culture of taking care of one another every day. Please take these concepts beyond the Wing and Peterson Air Force Base and share them with your families and friends - especially during the 101 Critical Days of Summer and during this Year of the Air Force Family.

Taking care of our families has been a priority for the Air Force during 2010. This year has been recognized by the Air Force as the Year of the Air Force Family. In the Air Force Reserve, a new program is being offered to assist our deployers and their families. The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program which includes pre- and post-deployment events is now available to members of the 302nd. The Wing recently took part in two post-deployment "YRRP" events in Vail, Colo., by partnering with the Colorado National Guard's post-deployment programs. I have personally attended the recent YRRPs and from them have discovered additional support and benefits available to deployers and their families. YRRP is truly a great program for Air Force Reserve deployers and a great experience for the entire family. Our Airman and Family Readiness Office can provide more information on YRRP.

We can get so busy in our lives that it's easy to forget or fall behind in taking care of ourselves and our families. Being a Wingman and taking part in programs such as YRRP can make a significant and positive difference in your life, the lives of those closest to you and your Reserve career.