Col. Laidlaw’s Thanksgiving Letter, Nov. 22

  • Published
  • By Air Force Col. Brian Laidlaw
  • 325th Fighter Wing

Fellow Tyndall Airmen and Families-

As I drove around our base today I realized that it is Thanksgiving Day. It may be hard for some to imagine, but it hit me that we do have a lot to be thankful for this year. For example, I am thankful that the 11,000 of you are still part of our family and able to read this letter if you so choose. I am thankful for the 2,000 Airmen, military and civilians, the Air Force sent to help put our base back together. We couldn’t ask for a more motivated bunch of Americans. I am thankful for the tremendous support we continue to enjoy from our local community, some of whom helped me serve a Thanksgiving meal in the food tent this afternoon.

Since the first Thanksgiving in 1621, this holiday has always been about gathering as friends and family to acknowledge and give thanks for our blessings. There remains a lot of hurt in our formation and in our community. We must respect that. But, as you gather around tables this evening (even if that table is in a food tent) please pause to reflect on what is truly important. It’s not the things we’ve lost or the hardships we’ve endured, what’s important is the people breaking bread with you around your table.

As Airmen, we also have a responsibility to check on one another over the holidays. We acknowledge that holidays aren’t always the happiest of times for everyone. I encourage commanders, chiefs, first sergeants, supervisors, and wingmen throughout our ranks to check on our people today and again over the weekend. If one of our people doesn’t look or sound right, take action … today. I trust you to do the right thing.

So while our Tyndall family is physically spread across the country this Thanksgiving Day, we are joined in common purpose and kindred spirit. Our future is bright, and yes, we do have a lot to be thankful for this year. I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving, and I sincerely look forward to welcoming you back to our rapidly recovering base, very soon.

We’re better today than we were yesterday, and without question, we’ll be even better tomorrow!


Col. Brian Laidlaw
Commander, 325th Fighter Wing