Choices not only affect you, but everyone around you

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- One early, dew-covered morning, many years ago, my parents and I headed to town. This was not our normal shopping trip to town, for this was the day for college class registration.

Little did I know that at that moment I was well on the path of my journey of "choices and consequences." During the drive, I made the one of biggest choices of my life ... my college major.

As I stood in line to get my classes, two small booths in the corner caught my eye. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps and Air Force ROTC were on the banners, another life changing choice. Needless to say my choice!

As a 2nd lieutenant in the 14th Fighter Squadron in Misawa AB, Japan, I learned this philosophy during a mentoring session. My choices in life have not always had a positive consequence.

This so happen to be one of those times and my boss explained this philosophy in great detail. From that day forward, I took it to heart and reflected on the choices I made. I also realized the importance of understanding the consequences of my future choices.

Not all choices affect just you. All of us have family members or friends who are stakeholders in our choices.

For instance, my choice to become a commander on Eielson, caused my wife and children to move from Florida. It increased the difficulty of visitation by loved ones and friends. As well as gave us the opportunity to drive from Patrick AFB and see some amazing sights across our great nation.

Our forefathers had it right when they fought for our independence and rights to make these choices in life.

On this Fourth of July, as we are all with our friends and families celebrating our nations' history and fellow Airmen, choose a smile, safety, and to honor your families as well.

They have had to make some tough choices in their lives to support you and deserve a positive consequence. Choose wisely in life, for there will always be a consequence.