News happening around Little Rock Air Force Base


Core Values & Action

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- This past weekend I was out running errands with a friend of mine who works on Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, near where I live, and his young son. One of our stops was at a local retail chain outlet. When I asked him why we were stopping he told me it was to take advantage of a teachable moment for his son. I was very intrigued and couldn't wait to see what he was talking about.

As we walked to the door I could see that he was carrying a small box - a return of some sort, I guessed. As we entered, an employee walked up and asked if he could help us. "Yes, my son and I were in here yesterday and bought several items," said my friend. "Unfortunately, this iPod case I purchased for my son was never rung up by the cashier. It was degaussed so as not to set off the alarm, but we were not charged for it. I'm here to pay for it."

The employee was flabbergasted. Not knowing what to say, he walked us over to a nearby cashier to take care of the transaction. It was the same cashier who had made the mistake the day before. About that time, the manager walked up and said "Thank you for your honesty. I have worked here for the last seven years and have never seen someone do this before."

My friend replied, "I'm in the Air Force and our first core value is 'integrity first.' My integrity is worth a lot more than $40.00. It also afforded me a teachable moment with my son when we discovered the oversight on our receipt. It's the right thing to do and that's how our family rolls."

What a great experience! It made me smile the rest of the day. A local business saw that not only do we have core values, we live by them. A young boy learned a life lesson on integrity, and doing the right thing. And a father and Air Force member went to bed that night knowing that he had passed on a value to his son, and had lived up to the stripes on his sleeve.

Often, we are faced with moral dilemmas; I'm sure you've probably faced one this week. Maybe someone forgot to ring something up on your bill, or the door on the newspaper vending machine was ajar, or you got an extra serving of fries in your fast food bag. The point is, when faced with these types of situations, you have an opportunity to live up to our core values. You have the opportunity to show others in our community that we don't just speak the values, we live by them. And, most importantly, we have the opportunity to pass those values on to the next generation, who will continue to carry the torch and defend this great nation. It's something to think about.
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