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Always remember your family

Jan. 22, 2010 -- A few years ago, my squadron commander and I had a conversation about the choices we make. He told me his boss wanted to give him a Definite Promote; he told his boss, "don't waste your promotion on me." He said promotion to 0-6 meant another stint at the Pentagon, working long hours and being away from his family ­ he wasn't willing to do that again.
He said there will come a time when you will have to make a tough choice between your career and your family, and when that day comes, choose wisely.  My commander retired shortly thereafter, but I never forgot our conversation it was a life lesson for me.
Oftentimes, what you do in life and with your family is a fine balancing act, but at no time allow your family to dip below anything you do.
There are days we are extremely busy, working long hours during the week and even a few on the weekend. But take the time to pause. Take time out for your spouse, your children, your significant other, your mother, your father, your siblings, your best friends.
Pause - take time out to reflect on those things that are truly important in life, because people don't last forever. On Nov. 22, just two months ago, my wife's cousin was killed in Iraq 30 days before he was scheduled to return for the birth of his son - he was 25. To my wife, he was a little brother she used to change his diapers. To me, he was a young man with a good heart.
Army Staff Sergeant Briand Williams was laid to rest on Dec. 5, the same day of our 20th wedding anniversary. Not exactly how we planned on celebrating it.
Last year, my wife and I were blessed with a little boy; although seven years ago doctors said it would never happen ­ he is now six months old.
Sometimes I wonder where I get the energy; I'm not a young pup anymore; I'm not an old dog either. I suspect, every time he smiles at me, I get an adrenaline boost.
My wife and son mean everything. When it comes time for me to make that tough choice, I will choose wisely.