Perspective: Holloman Air Force Base or gated community?

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Carmen Goyette
  • 49th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander
I had relatives visit this past week. It's always interesting to listen to what they think of whatever base I'm assigned to. They love it here.

My father-in-law said, "There's people who pay good money to live in a gated community as nice as this one. You have a free fitness center with an amazing amount of fitness opportunities, reduced cost medical and dental care, good schools within walking distance from your house, movies for a dollar, reduced golf fees, reduced grocery costs and you get to watch really cool planes all day long."

Isn't that an interesting way to look at how we live?

I served a remote tour in the area of responsibility from July 2005 to July 2006 and, during the time I was gone, my family moved to a tiny town outside Branson, Mo., to be close to grandparents. Our biggest concern was security and our most missed benefit was the military community.

My husband and I really appreciate the feeling of security we get living on base. While I still watch my kids when they play in the front yard, I know I don't have to worry about drive-by shootings or drug sales on the sidewalk. I don't have to worry about gang bangers living next to me, bringing dangerous traffic to the neighborhood. Sadly, small town Missouri had these issues, along with random trailer houses exploding from meth-lab accidents.

We also appreciate the military community. I know if I was away and my family had an emergency situation, people would come from around the base to help out. I know when I chat with my neighbor about upcoming deployments or PCSs they understand the stressors unique to these issues. On-base houses might be a little smaller than today's norm but that just means less for me to keep up with. I'll trade a cozier space for security and community any day.

So, my point is, it's about how you look at things. You can complain about the heat or be happy you can get a tan for Valentine's Day pictures. You can complain about 100 percent ID checks or you can think of the security you are enjoying in your gated community. You can complain about the "PT Nazis" or you can think of yourself as a high-end movie star who gets paid to stay fit. I know there are a lot of civilians paying big money for the benefits we enjoy. It's all about perspective.