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$upport Military $aves Week

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Let me begin by telling you how proud I was with the way you welcomed Lt. Gen. Larry D. James, commander, 14th Air Force, and his wife, Susan earlier this week. You all were poised, professional and most of all, right on point when he asked for clarification or for your advice, opinions and guidance. It makes any commander very proud when he has people in his organization as committed, competent and confident in his abilities as you obviously are. And it really shows. People notice, believe me. It's that obvious.

Something else that is very obvious - and frightening to many - to every single person reading this is the state of our economy. This is no joking matter. The last thing I want to be is the "doctor of doom," but I also feel it's our responsibility as commanders and caring leaders to do everything possible to educate, help and do everything in our power to help as many people as we can.

This is very scary to a lot of folks out there.

So this week, our Airman & Family Readiness Center - along with Air Force bases around the globe - will be hosting "Military Saves Week." All next week, beginning Tuesday, the A&FRC will be offering educational - and very important - classes on the Thrift Savings Plan, how to improve your credit rating, a class on identity theft protection and homeowners' foreclosure avoidance.

I would bet that every single one of us know someone, whether they be a family member, friend, or co-worker, who has gone through some financial hardship over the past several months. I know full well some of our Airmen and their families are in that group as well.

It is virtually impossible to focus on your job and do it well, when you have pressing financial worries occupying your every waking moment. I am asking all commanders, leaders and supervisors to do the single most important thing you can for your people: ASK them if they need help.

And if the answer is "yes," then get it for them. Find the time to let them attend these classes if they need to be there. Make the time if you have to.

Please tell them they are not alone. Sometimes they may feel like they're on an island and they have no one around to help them. Tell them - as often as need be - that that's not the case.

Tell them to go see the good folks at the A&FRC. No one in this wing who needs help will go without it. Thanks again for all you do.