It Has Been a Pleasure to Serve You
By Del Eulberg, Major General (Ret.), USAF
and downs. Additionally, we saw different approaches the Department of Defense utilized to provide housing, from traditional government-owned and –operated, to leased housing, and finally privatized housing. Through it all, our association has remained focused on our mission to provide quality training and recognition to the housing and lodging professionals supporting our military members and families.
As you all know, this is the last issue of Defense Communities, as PHMA will cease operations this month. With that in mind, this issue focuses on the history of our association and the many accomplishments you all have made over the years serving our military members and their families. We have faced many challenges, as the country has, and men and women in uniform and their families have: from the Vietnam War, the Cold War, Gulf War, Global War on Terrorism, Iraqi and Afghanistan, and now our efforts to counter ISIS. We also have seen tremendous changes as we faced numerous drawdowns and buildups over the years with the associated budget ups
Despite all the challenges, there are a few things that were constant over the years: excellence, dedication, commitment, and service from our housing and lodging professionals. I have personally seen these attributes thousands of times in the faces and actions of every housing professional I have met. PHMA has been at the forefront of providing first-class training to ensure you, our members, were always on top of your profession and sharing the latest best practices. Our annual Professional Development Seminars were the gold standard for providing essential training on a variety of topics, and our instructors were some of the best in the industry. I fondly recall the senior-enlisted panel every year, where each of the Service-enlisted leaders addressed the attendees and answered questions. They were always a hit with all the attendees, and it is also where we all learned the phrase “best thing since canned beer!” I have to say that our members always knew how to work hard, but you also know how to have fun! I saw a lot of “mov’n and shak’n” on the dance floor at our training seminars. Some memories will stick with us for a lifetime. I also recall the many award winners each year; they are the epitome of excellence and service to our military members and their families. Their efforts inspire all of us, and we share their pride and salute their service.
Most military commanders at all levels will attest to how challenging it is to be a housing professional, as everyone who comes through the door has a story or need, and since we are dealing with their homes, it is always personal to them. That requires our housing professionals to always be at their best in terms of customer service and to not just deliver homes, but also build communities. I’m proud of the role PHMA has played over the years in helping make these critical objectives a reality.
As you enjoy the articles in this Winter 2016 edition of Defense Communities, you will read about the many accomplishments our association has achieved over the years, but, more importantly, I hope you will reflect on the men and women who made it all happen. Behind every accomplishment, there are everyday heroes who get up each day wanting to make a difference. I know all of you can think of a number of folks who made a difference to our profession, to PHMA, or as a mentor. As we reflect on the history of our association, please use this as a reason to reach out and touch base with those who made a difference and say, “thank you.” I guarantee it will be time well spent for both of you.
With that in mind, I want to publicly say, “thank you” to Jon Moore, our executive director, for his leadership, dedication, and service to the men and women of PHMA. We are all better for his efforts, and it has been an honor serving with him these past seven years. The PHMA staff also has been the best of the best, and I truly enjoyed seeing them in action—always positive and focused on our members. To the recent editors of our awarding-winning Defense Communities, Birgitt Seymour, and Barbara Sincere: job well done! In closing, it has been a true privilege and blessing to be associated with housing professionals whose vocation is serving others. You are all heroes in the truest sense of the word, and I wish you all the best in the future. Thank you and God bless you.
Del Eulberg is Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. General Eulberg retired from the Air Force in 2009 as The Civil Engineer, HQ USAF, where he was responsible for installation support for 166 installations worldwide.
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