The misadventures of Airman Snuffy McDufflebag and Master Sgt. Johnny Mentor

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- I had to wipe the sleep out my eyes as I entered the base theater Aug. 2. It was a bittersweet morning I was missing PT, but I had to sit through this mandatory Airmen's Call. Ughh! -- Just kidding or am I? 

Yeah, anyway with the dining facility closing I wanted to hear what the plans were for feeding my Airmen. As Chief Master Sgt. O.G. Hardball, stood up to address us, I knew he would be straightforward and to the point. 

He said The Sultan's Inn dining facility will be closed from now until Oct. 7 for facility upgrades, to include vent replacements. Basic Allowance for Subsistance will automatically begin and end respectively during the closure. Meal card holders can expect to receive a partial payment in their mid-month pay check. The BAS equates to about $270 per month or $9 per day; BAS is designed to offset the cost of meals when government provided dining meals are not available. He went on and on. (See Page 7 in the Aug. 4 Tip of the Sword for more details, that was written by a good guy, Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery Antwine. Hey, get to some of his Wise Counsel meetings if you get a chance. They're great. Anyway as usual, I digress!) 

As he neared the end his dissertation, Chief Hardball lamented "Some of you supervisors and Airmen may think $9 per day is not enough to feed you, and that many of you will not be able to manage this additional allowance for its intended purpose, but I have full confidence the Airmen will manage their money properly -- or you won't eat." Does everyone understand me or do I have to draw you a schematic! "Yes Sir!" we all shouted. Chief Hardball was finished, he dismissed us and we were free to go. 

My Airmen said they were clear on the message and I told them I would see them at work. As I began to leave, I saw Master Sgt. Johnny Mentor, he asked all his troops the same thing I asked my troops and they said they were clear. He also suggested that each Airman read the article in the Tip of the Sword that Friday and he even scheduled a representative from the Airman and Family Readiness Center come by their office during Airman's time and teach a money management class. 

I just knew that the efforts put forth by Sergeant Mentor would be successful. I mean even Airman Dufflebag couldn't screw this up. He was informed, he was well mentored, he was given the proper guidance and he had a plan laid out for him for managing his money. But habitual line steppers find a way to mess up the best laid plans. 

I saw Master Sgt. Johnny Mentor at the Chapel yesterday, we have rehearsal there at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays, he was kneeled down at the alter in the dark and asking God why he was given an Airman like Snuffy. "Why Lord, why," he cried out as he knelt there crying. Heck, I even asked why as I listen Sergeant Mentor tell God what Snuffy had done now! 

The Airmen were told that the BAS would be included in their Aug. 15 pay and they were told to adjust accordingly, but Snuffy blew it. 

Airman McDufflebag was feeling pretty good about this $270 of extra pay. "I'm a big baller now," he thought. He figured that it wouldn't be too bad to spend a little money since he had such a big check coming on the 15th. He headed out to Cheers on August 4 and hosted a Friday night Apple Puckers Daiquiri House Party. Airman Eli Snitch told Snuffy that pulling his credit card out at the club and running a tab was not a smart idea, but Snuffy said to Snitch to "Make like a tree and get out of here! I'm getting paid extra money for food dummy, and Apples are a type of food. They are in the Apple family, yeah, the Apple and Pucker family. Get with the food pyramid Snitch." Usually Snitch would run and tell on Snuffy if he witnessed him doing something stupid, but this time he thought it would be better just to wait and see who the real dummy was. 

At the party, he met a girl named Airman Inya Pockets. She was one of the girls that had called him an idiot for breaking Airman Flex Buffington's foot, but she was impressed that Snuffy had enough money to throw an open bar party like this. "You must be good at managing your money," she told him. And Snuffy said "Yeah baby. With my new pay raise I can afford the finer things in life. Drink up and be merry!" 

After Snuffy ran up a significant tab at the bar, he decided to spend the next day with Inya. She mentioned that she likes a man who could handle his finances. Snuffy, "Airman Snuffy Cornelius Ulysses McDufflebag, 'S.C.U.M., the man who manages his doe'," he thought. Snuffy wanted to continue to impress her with his new financial status, so he took Inya on a whirl-wind shopping spree as only an Incirlik aristocrat could -- in the Alley. 

Snuffy bought some new cloths for himself, new Louis Vatton luggage, a Turkish rug and a cartouche necklace for Inya and he even made sure he went to the BX during his lunch hour on Tuesday to buy all the new movies they released. Since he was on his lunch break, he decided he would pop over to Taco Bell and get a couple of chicken soft tacos with extra mild sauce. Snuffy gave them his bank card proudly. "Uh sir, your card declined." Snuffy said to swipe it again because "I know I got money." "Uh, sorry sir it declined again!" Airman Snitch was third in line at the Taco Bell and couldn't help himself. "Hey Snuffy maybe Cheers will sell you some food from the Apple family. Yea, the Apple and Pucker family -- Jerk!" 

After one day of starving and having Inya break up with him for being broke, Snuffy decided to tell Sergeant Mentor what happened. Airman Snitch had already dropped a dime on him and Sergeant Mentor had already set up an appointment for Snuffy to get some Air Force Aid and then immediately took two days of leave. He had been at that alter praying ever since then. Sad, I'll have to talk with him later. 

I guess I learned that Air Force Mission success begins with you -- the individual Airman. All Airmen must possess constant professional and personal situational awareness to ensure positive impact on their unit's mission. Although we often see our professional life in a very disciplined way, we sometimes don't realize how our personal well-being affects our job performance or the people we work with. I hope Snuffy learned that being on solid financial footing is one way you can positively affect your life, but then again, he is a habitual line stepper.