Character Corner: What do you stand for?

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- According to my good friend, retired Chief Master Sgt. Bob Vasquez, "If you don't stand for what's right, you'll fall for what's wrong."

In recent months I've heard many cadets express regrets about the constraints they must live with at the Air Force Academy. They must live under "the Code" while many of their friends are living the good life, doing what they want and partying it up. They may think, "It is not fair, it is not right. Why should they get to do all this stuff that I can't?" Sad to say this situation will never change, and it will never seem fair.

As a cadet and as a future Airman, whether officer or enlisted, you will interact with friends, family members and acquaintances who will influence you in ways that will affect your life and future. When you agreed to serve our country, you placed constraints on yourself, and you moved yourself into a separate category from the majority of Americans. We have all committed ourselves to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, which means we all must make sacrifices. The first big commitment you will make will be living under "the Code."

The next time you feel like you are being treated unfairly and you feel left out because you can't do everything your friends back home are doing, ask yourself, "What do I stand for?" Stand for what's right, so that you won't fall for what's wrong.