The courage to act

  • Published
  • By Col. Kurt P. Lambert, 349th Medical Group
  • 349 AMW

Over the last few months, we in the 349th Medical Group have had the privilege of recognizing two members that came to the aid of civilians in the local area. Utilizing her Air Force training, Senior Airman Erica Torres provided life-saving care to a bullet wound victim to control extensive bleeding.  Last month while leaving the base, Senior Airmen Jeremy Derrick witnessed a motor vehicle accident where he and others provided care to a mom and her two children who were trapped in the car that had rolled onto its side.  These types of events are not limited to the folks in the Medical Group.  Many throughout this Wing have similar stories.


As I celebrate my fifth year as the 349th Medical Group commander, I look back with pride in the accomplishments of all our members.  Our 349th members have supported the county’s strategic goals, while also providing critical on the spot community needs.  And it’s not just the technical expertise; it’s the leadership element that impresses me most.   In the two instances described above, how many people do you think ran the other way when they saw a bleeding victim?  How many people may have continued to drive past that accident with a mother and her children trapped in their car? 


Throughout my Air Force career, I have continually been amazed at how young Air Force members step up to situations and challenges.  There is this prevailing attitude, among even our youngest recruits, that encompasses the culture of “I got this” that we just don’t see in everyday society.  Our members don’t sit back and hope that somebody else will take charge -- they take the lead; they take charge.   


The Air Force has instilled in us the idea of ’If not me - then who?’- a culture of action and courage.  It is gratifying feeling to see today that the Air Force is producing a generation of highly engaged, and involved young members, when it seems sometimes the younger members of society have their faces stuck in a cell phone, and prefer to communicate by text, even at the dinner table.


As I close out my tenure here at Travis, I look at the future of my Air Force and I like what I see -- go Team Travis!