It’s here! 2021 is here and all of the issues and struggles that 2020 subjected us to can now begin to be replaced with the hope that a new year brings. January starts off with New Year’s Day and many people go through the ritual of making resolutions. Let’s just focus on one. 2021 will be better than 2020! January also recognizes a hero of the Civil Rights Movement on Martin Luther King Day and I suggest that as NCO’s and Petty Officers that we take the lead and do something to diffuse so much of the tension thrust upon us last year. The last time I checked, God made all of us and on the battlefield of life, we all bleed red!
I had the pleasure of speaking with many members of my chapter as 2020 closed out and I received a lot of encouraging words. This year will provide us the opportunity for a do-over. The enlisted force makes up approximately 80% of our entire military. The Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) represents that 80% along with your families. We have some exciting ideas that are churning around in the heads of your leadership. I want to ask you a question. Do you have a couple of hours a month that you could consider contributing to making a difference for the 80%? We are considering putting together a strategic plan that focuses on between 3-5 areas where NCOA can make a difference. Maybe you could help maintain one of the numerous social media outlets available today so that we can reach more people? Maybe you could help as a regional coordinator that can try to bring a group of the 80% of our members at large together in a virtual chapter. Maybe you could help with submitting information for one of the chapter newsletters.
NCOA is constrained by the limits of our imagination. I have been talking about doing buddy checks to stay connected to our brothers and sisters isolated by COVID. Some of you risked your lives in war to save a buddy and now in peace, isn’t it worth a phone call or having a cup of coffee to do the same thing for a struggling service member? There are some programs out there that have moved to doing more than raising awareness. I am hopeful that in the near future, we will have information available to do something that engages people in fighting this horrible trend of veteran suicides.
I challenge you to do something in 2021 to make it a better year than 2020. It doesn’t have to cost you money, but it may cost you a little time, but I would be willing to bet that none of you want to go through another 2020 as long as you live. So start with a simple thing. Make up your mind that you are going to do something that will make a difference in your family, your chapter, your community and your nation.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at email@example.com and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.
Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,
MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors