A fond farewell
By Col. Michele Edmondson, 81st Training Wing commander
/ Published May 30, 2017
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
As I prepare to depart Keesler, I would like to take an opportunity to express how much I appreciate what you all have done for the 81st Training Wing and Team Keesler. It is with a sad heart that I must move on but I know I will always cherish these memories and experiences as the best in my career. My family and I truly enjoyed our time here because of you. The people of Keesler and the surrounding area truly represent what a community should be. It was a true pleasure to be a part of this wonderful family.
When I came to Keesler 24 months ago, I was immediately impressed by the awesome team of the 81st, your dedication to the mission and your passion for innovation are unparalleled. Over these two years, I’ve also been inspired by how incredibly resilient you are. Whether it is pushing 29,000 students through technical training each year, working 23,000 outpatient visits each month or sustaining our historic installation through every storm; each of you and your teams amazed me every day. Thru every unexpected opportunity that has come our way, you have risen above the challenge and proven time and time again that the 81st Airmen are indeed the world’s best Airmen!
If I could ask for one thing as I depart, it would be that each of you continue to take care of your Airmen. Every single person on this installation has the opportunity to make a profound impact on someone’s life every day…never pass up that opportunity. Be sure to take the time to get to know your Airmen, invest in them, connect with them and trust them. Always remember that if you take care of them, they will take care of the mission and you will all achieve more than you ever thought possible.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you. My family and I will leave here full of pride to be able to say we were a part of this great team and community that has accomplished so much. We have been forever marked by the experiences we shared with you.
Your Wingman and Biggest Fan!