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Wingman Day today ... every day

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Before I discuss this week's topic, I want to spend a few moments on the loss of a Team Patrick warrior, Major (select) Steve Engler, who passed away earlier this week.

A member of the 17th Test Squadron, Det. 3, and a former member of the 5th Space Launch Squadron, he leaves behind a devoted wife and three children. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers and attend, if you can, a Memorial Service for him at 11 a.m., today, at the South Patrick Chapel.

As the untimely passing of Steve reminds us, life is filled with constant changes. Each moment can potentially place you in a very stressful situation. It is important that we understand how to cope with what life brings our way.

Fortunately, the Air Force has recently started the Comprehensive Airman Fitness Campaign to help our Airmen deal with life's challenges.

The four pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness (physical, social, mental and spiritual) are designed to do just that.

Physical fitness is the ability to do whatever you set your mind to; it is upholding certain fitness standards and projecting a professional image. It is about setting and meeting goals to help lead a healthy lifestyle.

Social fitness, like physical fitness, is important. Take the time to do things that enhance your relationships both in the work place and at home. Maintaining trust, love and friendship can be personally fulfilling and provide you with a safe place to exchange ideas, views and experiences. Our loved ones, whether near or far, are the backbone of all we do.

Mental fitness: Being able to cope with life's ups and downs. Yes, every human being will experience that roller coaster. Having the ability to react appropriately to challenges life will place in front of you ... that's mental fitness.

Guess what, there are people ready to assist anyone who might stumble along the way. They are ready to offer assistance to help you along the journey. Take advantage of it.

Spiritual fitness is feeling like you have a grasp of meaning in your life. It is about strengthening your beliefs, principles and values that give you a sense of well-being, hope and the will to keep going. Methods of this fitness can be anything from music to meditation or poetry to prayer. It is way to escape from the norm and see the bigger picture.

Taking care of ourselves has an enduring affect on all that surrounds us. By achieving overall success in our four pillars we not only strengthen our lives but we better the success of our mission in life and at work.

So this Wingman Day, and every day, make it a priority.

Stay physically, socially, mentally and spiritually fit, you may just surprise yourself.

Keep pushing Sharks.