Pride in Ownership

  • Published
  • By Maj. Jesus Ramos
  • 39th Maintenance Squadron commander
Take care of what you've got, an adage we learned when we were kids with our toys. This adage still rings true as adults, however, the things we must care for are worth much more and are sometimes not ours alone. An example of this is taking care of the grounds and facilities we share here at Incirlik Air Base.

As I ride my bike to and from work, I have noticed in the last couple of months an increase to the litter along my route. The last base clean-up after the wing run was confirmation. There was two to three times more trash that we picked up along our designated route. While this monthly clean-up did help the overall appearance of the base, it was a short-lasting victory. Within less than a week, I noticed a build-up of trash once again along my daily route.

Whenever possible, I make it a point to pull over and pick up some of the larger pieces of trash that blows around or is left amongst the trees by the bike path. Often, there is just too much to pick up without stopping every few feet. I sometimes see others picking up trash when they come across it, some even stopping vehicles to pick it up, others picking it up along their running route. Unfortunately, this is not a common practice; otherwise, there would be much less trash around the base.

Where is all of this trash coming from? Most of the stuff I see on my bike route consists of remnants of fast food packaging that is likely discarded along the way by the consumer. In other areas, such as the playing fields around Arkadas Park, cigarette butts and water bottles litter the grounds. A lot of the other trash seems to blow around the base with the winds.

So what can you do about it? The simplest thing is to do what many others already do...pick it up and put it in a refuse container. As with all other problems we encounter, if you see it, don't pass it by without correcting it. Take the few extra seconds to stop and pick up the big pieces you see blowing around the base. Do your part in taking care of the facilities and grounds we all share here at Incirlik. If we all do this, we'll show the pride we have in taking care of our installation.