So there I was...

  • Published
  • By Maj. John C. Mora
  • 39th Maintenance Squadron commander
So there I was ... trying to watch NFL Thursday Night Football on a Friday night with my NFL Game Pass.  The Denver Broncos versus the Kansas City Chiefs was the feature game. I watched the opening vignette that the NFL presents to hype the game just before kickoff four times in a row due to Internet issues. This was definitely not the ideal way to close out a long week.

The vignette consisted of a high school student having one of those days while a speech by Forest Whitaker played in the background. I was finally able to get the playback to work and my wife sat down to watch the game with me. She listened to the speech as it played again and said that it was very inspiring and wanted to print it for our children to read. After a quick search I found the speech. As I read it to myself it really began to sink in... 

How many people in this room-
Have ever had one of those days-
When everything just...

Starts out wrong-
Wrong side of the bed-
Wrong side of the pillow-

Put your hands up!
What is your answer?

That is what I thought!
Every one of you!

Now when the world
Pulls that game with me?
I'm gonna tell you what I do...

I savour it!
That's right!
Savour it!

Now let me tell you why-
Because you aren't going anywhere-
Any time soon-
Without a struggle
Without a fight!
Without people doubting you!
Questioning you!
Trying to keep you down!

Too many of you don't realize that-
But what's the point of succeeding-
If succeeding is easy?

I never got that!

Never understood people
Who wished they were born rich-
Never understood athletes
Who just wanted join the best teams...

Build your own business!

Start your own dynasty!

A good start to a day is easy...
I want no part of easy!
I want the struggle!
I want the fight!
I want the pain!

And then I want-
The best-
Of all!

The feeling -
That the world-
Did everything it could-
To beat-

But I won!

Now, not every day in the Air Force is one of those days. But some days it does feel like you just can't add one more task to your schedule. Then that one special challenge is presented to you, that special challenge that will have many obstacles to overcome. It could be due to current manning, a fiscally constrained environment, a lack of spare parts, the health of the fleet or just being short on time.

A good example of this scenario was the wing's recent bed down. Key personnel were on leave, requirements were changing every other minute and vehicle and facility limitations were some of the obstacles to the successful execution of this challenge.  However, through communication, leveraging squadron resources and teamwork, the wing met the challenge to bed down additional American air power for the fight. We were able to accomplish something that seemed impossible a week before. The satisfaction of seeing that first sortie take off after all the hard work was a great feeling.

So you know what, I don't mind the struggle, I don't mind the fight and I don't mind the pain. Because that is when we build that team of all-stars, when we build that business of Air Power and when we continue our dynasty. Fly, fight and win ... is the feeling that the world did everything it could to beat us and failed. Who's next?

Speech by Forest Whitaker for Thursday Night Football 2015