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Would you believe this is happening on Tyndall?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Joseph E. Thornell
  • AFNORTH Command Chief
Last weekend I witnessed something I never thought I would see on Tyndall. I went to the Felix Lake Shoppette to buy my Saturday newspaper when I saw a sign posted on the machine that said, "This machine operates at a LOSS every Sunday due to THEFT! I cannot afford to operate at a loss! This machine will be shut down on Sundays if theft continues. Thank You."

How have we allowed our Air Force core values to be diminished so far that some of our authorized base patrons are now stealing newspapers from the vending machine? How could this happen? Possibly, the previous patron did not close the door completely and the next customer finds it partially open and helps themselves to a free paper.

Or, a customer might pay for one paper and then help themselves to a couple of extras for their friends or neighbors. If you have received one of these free papers, you might want to look at who gave it to you and ask them, "What the heck?"

My parents taught me decades ago to ensure the door was fully closed before inserting my quarters so I did not lose my money. I remember being told that the papers in the machine belong to the newspaper guy until you deposit your $1.50 and remove the one paper you purchased. That simple honest truth has not changed in my 50 years of life.

Come on fellow Airmen (military, civilian, and contractors), let's get our head back into the game and recall our core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do. How about some simple application of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" How can someone come to work or patronize this great Air Force installation on Monday morning after stealing newspapers on Sunday at the base shoppette?

If you are one of the people taking the newspapers, look closely at the person in the mirror when you get home and ask that person if stealing a $1.50 newspaper is a proper display of integrity first or is it excellence in all you do? If the answer to either of these two simple questions is yes, you do not belong as a teammate on this proud Air Force Team. If that does not move you to rethink your actions, remember that theft is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and is a $1.50 worth negatively impacting your career?