Being a part of history

  • Published
  • By Maj. Wayne Capps
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
As I touched down in Cuba on a mission to support the president on his inaugural visit to Havana, I couldn’t help to think, this is one that I will tell my grandkids about.

Cuba and I seem to have a love hate relationship lately.

I was deployed to Guantanamo Bay last year and was running media operations when President Obama announced the normalization of relations with the communist island nation. While I was not thrilled to be away from my family, I knew that I was playing a significant part in history.

Several months later, seeing the “other side of the gate” and spending time in Havana was a surreal experience. I have never visited a country with absolutely zero American influence… well, except for the classic 1950’s era cars that littered the city. The people were warm and as curious about us as we were about them.

Havana was a unique and inviting city that seemed to be stuck in another decade, a decade that we all argued about. While I said it seemed like a trip back to 1982, many of the people who traveled with me said it seemed like anywhere from 1965 to 1985. Anyways, it was certainly a different type of place.

As I watched Air Force One touch down, we were standing with several Cuban nationals. You could literally feel their excitement. In their minds, their lives were going to change for the better. As one Cuban laughingly, yet quietly said to me, “I love socialism, but a splash of capitalism will certainly help my pocket!”

Walking through the cobble stone streets in my new fedora, one that my wife will certainly hate, I couldn’t help but to think about how historic this mission is. And the more I thought about it, I came to the realization that as Airmen, we are making history every day, in almost everything we do. From flying combat sorties overseas to delivering humanitarian aid to people in need or even setting at your desk processing Airmen for a deployment. We are all doing significant tasks that are being recognized on the world stage.

You don’t have to be traveling with the president to be a part of history. Our force is leaner than ever and the jobs that we do every day are important and help move our mission along. No matter how you look at it, moving our mission is making history!

So as you sit at your desk, drive out to the flight line or even stand guard at a gate, understand that what you are doing is significant. What you do matters on a global scale because as Airmen, we truly are making history every day.

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