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Getting "Lik-ed" By Bears

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- The Yellowstone National Park ranger joined a crowd of people, cars, trucks and motor homes that had congregated to watch a bear. One woman and her little boy caught his attention. She was smearing something unidentifiable all over the boy's face. He asked the woman what she was doing. She answered, "Putting honey on him, of course!"

Stunned, the ranger asked the obvious question: Why? She answered matter-of-factly, "I want to take a picture of the bear licking it off his face!" Fortunately the ranger prevented them from approaching the bear.

"You got to be bagging me," was what ran through my mind when I read this account. The things we do with food and condiments never cease to amaze me. Fortunately, we don't have any bears running around Incirlik. But what we do have here at Incirlik is a plethora of great food and service.

Our Services Squadron is a lot like park rangers, they go find the bears so that the crowds of people, cars, trucks and motor homes have something to watch and entertain them. From Outdoor Recreation to the Youth Center to the Sultan's Inn, Services puts the fun into Incirlik. The Sultan's Inn is easily the center of activity for a good portion of our community and it serves more meals than any other dining hall in USAFE. Sometimes it takes people from other bases to remind us just how good we have it here at the Lik.

I recently met with our Spang F-16 mission partners who are TDY to the Lik and they remarked how pleased they were with our lodging support and how good the food and service was at the Sultan's Inn. I like getting these kinds of reminders because it helps me to really appreciate what we have here.

The late night Friday, early morning Saturday "Denny's-like" atmosphere at the Sultan's Inn underscores the extra mile our Services Team goes to meet the needs and interests of our community.

Of course, I will be concerned if I see our Airmen walking out of the dining hall with food smeared all over their faces, but for the moment, I will just assume they enjoyed the meal and be on the look out for bears.