Team Incirlik shouldn't be 'Ugly Americans'

  • Published
  • By Col. "Tip" Stinnette
  • 39th Air Base Wing Commander
The ugly Pilgrim would be the one that got off the Mayflower and didn't listen or try to understand his surroundings.

Thankfully when the Plymouth colonists first arrived they were smart enough to figure out that their survival depended upon their ability to listen, understand, and work with the Native American hosts. The first thanksgiving feast in 1621 celebrated that joint relationship and a successful harvest.

The ugly arrogant American is perceived as one who is loud, doesn't listen, nor try to understand the surrounding environment. This is certainly not a recipe for a thanksgiving feast.

On occasion I wander out to the main gate as the curfew approaches and while I am pleased to see our returning revelers I am embarrassed by their loudness and lack of situational awareness.

As they congregate around the gate they make loud remarks, tell jokes, laugh and attract attention to the fact that they have probably had too much to drink.

My heart sinks as I observe our Turkish partners watching the "ugly arrogant Americans." Our revelers then proceed through the gate and make their way to the taxi stand where they continue to denigrate themselves and Americans in general by being rude and obnoxious to the Turkish driver. I know this is not their intent but rather the unfortunate by-product of too much alcohol.

Where one of us falls, so it is for all of us. Be a good wingman and help your buddy through the gate without being obnoxious and drawing undue attention.

We are guests in this country and we should conduct ourselves with due decorum.

The way we act whether at the Incirlik front gate or while traveling in Turkey is a direct reflection of our Air Force and all Americans. Help your wingman and don't be an ugly Pilgrim. Have great Thanksgiving weekend and be safe!