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MAC honors junior troops at Tides

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- In today's Air Force, we are living in a "do more with less" environment and that is unlikely to change anytime in the near future. We demand much from our people and don't always take the opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to our enlisted professionals. 

That's why events such as last Friday's Junior Enlisted Picnic are so important. Once again we had the opportunity to say thanks to several hundred Airmen at the annual Junior Enlisted Picnic held at the Tides. 

This is one of my favorite events of the year, and I enjoyed interacting with everyone in a more relaxed environment and watching the just-for-fun competition. It was evident, among the smiling faces of our future Air Force NCO's, that this was a fantastic event! What many may not know, though, is just who is responsible for putting those grins on the faces of today's young Airmen at the picnic. 

The people to thank for this day of fun and appreciation are the unbelievably dedicated people who make up our Military Affairs Council (MAC), an organization originally formed in 1984 to get the local business community's support of the quarterly awards program here at Patrick Air Force Base. 

In nearly a quarter of a century, the MAC has evolved from supporting the awards, to hosting this enlisted picnic in the summer, the Community Service Awards in the fall, the dorm holiday party in December and the annual awards banquet in January. 

Organizations like the MAC and many others such as the Brevard County Civilian-Military Community Relations Council, which got its start in the 1950's, have made a significant impact on our Airmen. Examples include providing scholarships for military dependents and hosting one of the biggest fundraisers on base with its annual golf scramble event. 

In addition, the Air Force Association and all our volunteers continually support the combined military community in so many other ways when called upon throughout the year. 

They may not be Sharks in uniform, but they are Sharks at heart. So, I want to thank them all for recognizing the Air Force's greatest Airmen throughout the year. Go Sharks!