Voices of the VaANG: Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Amburn (Part 3/3)

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham
  • 192nd Wing

“I just want to be known as that chief who genuinely cared — like ‘that dude just cared for people.’ I love our Airmen! Oh my gosh! Talk about a hard decision; this is the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life. Our Airmen are just so much more to me than maintainers, security forces, supply, or pilots, every single AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code). They’re more to me than even Airmen — what they are is my family. I love them just like they’re my family, and man I’m going to miss them. No doubt, we’ve got the greatest wing on the planet because we’ve got the most amazing people ever. That’s the toughest part.

As I’m retiring, you won’t believe the emotion and the anxiety you have when it’s time to take this uniform off and realize, ‘I’m going to walk out that gate, and I’m leaving behind my brothers and sisters.’ For 28 years now, you’ve been brothers and sisters with these people who take care of each other, and everything you need is right here inside this fence line. Then, all of a sudden (or 28 years later), you wake up, and that’s not going to be there anymore.

My message to the Airmen is just to take care of yourselves, take care of your families and take care of each other. At the end of the day, we are all brothers and sisters in this profession of arms and that’s a really big deal! For me, the one thing that keeps me up at night is the suicide rate, our Airmen who are taking their lives. That’s why it's so important to me. Every time we lose one of our brothers and sisters, to me, it feels like I just lost my family member.

We all go through stuff — I’ve been through stuff. We’re all going to deal with difficult things in life, but we have got to remain to be dealers of hope. We’ve got to continue to ensure our Airmen know there are better ways. As we go through stuff in life, the most important thing is we get through it. And the way we get through it is together."
— Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Amburn, 192nd Wing command chief