The End of the Road for This Year’s Hennessy Traveler Program
By Hal Ritchie
Today is my last day as a Hennessy Traveler. I go home tomorrow. Someone asked me if it was bitter sweet. No, it is not. I am happy to go home. However, the experience has been admirable in so many ways, I learned so much. We traveled over 28,000 miles in 28 days.
First of all, I am very pleased to report that our Air Force military are in good hands. The senior leadership (and we met many very senior) in the food facilities are every bit as professional as are their civilian counterparts. However, the challenges differ in that they have to deal with deployments, a slower moving bureaucracy, and things like that. But, they do it effectively and well.
I am impressed and have been moved by the Air Force's enthusiastic encouragement of continued education, its mentoring and development of younger airmen and its respect for diversity and inclusion. Most all of the young airmen are working towards something educationally by taking correspondence courses, enrolling in universities or working towards that next stripe. Their leaders encourage this and mentor accordingly. In the Air Force, there is no differentiation between males and females, the different races or religions, or countries of origin. Everybody is focused on the mission and what needs to be done. Not one single word regarding politics, so very refreshing indeed.
Little Rock may have been our last visit but it was by no means least. They do a great job feeding our airmen and doing all of the other things mentioned above. Their leaders are excellent mentors which can be seen by the aspirations of the younger airmen.
My traveling companions have been great. Peter Christie is a very decent man who cares greatly about others. MSgt Reggie Morrison is the consummate professional. He is Air Force through and through, an untiring worker, and, as I said before, probably knows more about foodservice than anyone else in the Air Force. We are so lucky to have him serving our country.