DRAPER HEADQUARTERS, Utah –
As I write these words, we celebrate the first day of spring! I'll be the first to admit that I get spring fever. The world seems renewed, and it feels like a chance for a fresh start. Spring also reminds me that being a Guardsmen carries with it significant responsibilities on behalf of our local communities, our state and our nation. In many cases, Guardsmen are the first line of defense in the event of disaster. We experienced a tough fire season in the summer of 2018 that has left significant burn scars across several locations in the Wasatch Mountains. Unfortunately, most of the damage is located in areas where significant population is also present. This coupled with record setting precipitation this past winter creates a situation where flooding could be possible. As Guardsmen, we are pre-planning our response and pre-positioning heavy equipment so that we can answer any call for support in an expeditious and efficient manner. But it is difficult for us to answer the call if our own families are not prepared. Right now would be a great time for each one of us to review our own family emergency plans. Ensure that you have a 72-hour kit, and have established rally points and communication plans in the event that cell phones and internet services are not available. Talk to your children about how they should react in an emergency to alleviate fear and build resiliency. In an effort to build family readiness and stronger and more resilient teams, we will be changing the focus and content of the Minuteman Magazine going forward. Our publication will be more family oriented, and will focus on things that matter most to our families. Please read it cover to cover, and then provide us with feedback on the changes. If you like them, let us know! If you have suggestions for improvement, let us know that too. We value your opinion! After some long deployments in Central Command, we are welcoming back the 65th Fires Brigade, the 145th Field Artillery Battalion, elements of the 300th Military Intelligence Brigade, the 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion, elements of the 151st Air Refueling Wing, and the 109th Air Control Squadron. These deployments can have detrimental effects on individual service members and their families. But it does NOT have to be that way. I know that many of you have experienced personal and family growth as a result of a deployment. If we learn how to do it right, separation can actually make us stronger and build family and personal resilience. One way to weather the storm a little bit better is to recognize that you are human, and everyone has limitations. Every one of us has a personal "bandwidth," and we need to learn to recognize when we are pushing things too far. Simplify your personal life, and learn to prioritize what really matters. Learn to say no to taking on more than you can handle. Learning to say no will help you to maintain balance in your life and keep you grounded for those that depend on you the most. Military service is a team sport. It is a family calling. It takes an entire family to build an effective service member. Value those around you, and take the time to express gratitude to them for their sacrifices. Prepare yourself as an individual and tend to the needs of each one of your family members. I am convinced that as we work together, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish! Serving with each one of you is an absolute honor. Wear the uniform with pride and be ready to respond with precision when crisis comes.