In my bag of stories I carry around in my head is the one about the farm animals having a meeting to discuss what they could do for the farmer who looked after them so well. He provided good, appropriate housing, plenty of food and fresh clean water but when had they ever thanked him?
The head of the chook yard was first to speak up and she very empathically suggested that a suitable reward for the farmer would be a commitment from the co-operative to supply breakfast daily consisting of bacon and eggs. The cow quickly agreed and offered to add a generous helping of milk and cream to go with it. The majority seemed to think it was a good idea, but the pig was not so convinced. From his perspective the chooks and the cows were just making a donation, for him to provide bacon, that was real commitment!
Being a member of the ADF in the 21st century means that we cannot expect to just stay where it is comfortable while making grand sounding commitments. Off handed, cheap contributions will not cut it. What is demanded of us is wholehearted commitment. I admit that there is a healthy amount of fear, but also a recognition that this is exactly what I have been trained to do, support air operations! How we do that will be different, but if you are not prepared to be 100% committed to it, the whole team will suffer.
In being committed to deployment, am I prepared to put my life on the line?
Martin Luther King in a famous speech in Detroit (June 23, 1963) put it like this:
“I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for,
he isn’t fit to live.”
I know what I am prepared to die for – what about you?
Chaplain Ian Whitley