Choices you make affect others, the ones you love.

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The choices you make either large or small need to be thought out completely. For instance, your choice to join the Air Force, whatever the reason, is one of those enormous life changing decisions that affect not only you but everyone who holds you dear to them wherever you call home.

However long you stay in the Air Force those folks back home who love to show pictures of you in your uniform and stick out their chests with pride as they talk of your current return from the desert are counting on you to make the correct choices.

Let's talk about those choices you make closer to Eielson, and the temptation to take a shortcut on the job. When you do not follow the procedures that are laid out in front of you and something goes wrong, what can you say to those who count on you to do the right thing?

Your choice to take the easy way out is not only affecting your credibility with your supervisor and the other members of your squadron but all of those people back home. Hopefully no one pays the ultimate price for your ill-thought choice. But if that does happen you will have to bare that on your mind for the rest of your life.

I'd like to address not only those big decisions you make but the small ones or those that you may think are small. For instance, driving on the installation (yes the top cop couldn't miss an opportunity to talk about this) seat belts, speeding and cell phones.

Your choice to not wear a seat belt, speed, and talk on a cell phone while driving, will affect you in a very personal way. But, stop and think about those around you. If you loss your driving privileges for any length of time, how does that effect those who rely on you at work and at home?

The possibility for it to be an extra burden for those people who rely on you is very likely to happen.

When faced with my own decisions to make the right choice, what helps me to pick the right path to follow is the thought of how my actions affect those back home.

How will my wife, my children, my parents and my squadron deal with my decision to take the shortcut or just blatantly disobey the instructions and regulations?

After stopping and thinking for just a few short seconds on this, the light comes on and shows me the answer and pulls me back on the right path.

Everyone has their own reasons for joining the world's greatest Air Force and I would like to personally thank all of you for making that choice for standing up and protecting all that we hold dear and those back home.