Robin Williams and the missing Wingman
By Ch. (Capt.) Matthew Hoshor, 908th Airlift Wing
/ Published September 03, 2014
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
The life of comedian and actor Robin Williams tragically ended on Aug.11. His life affected millions, and yet he was alone when he died. The circumstances of his passing demonstrates the importance of a wingman.
Williams, who first came to prominence as the alien Mork from Ork in the mid-1970s, is remembered for his manic energy and freestyle stand-up comedy.
He was also there for those with whom he worked and fondly remembered for offering the support his friends needed to make it through their personal struggles. He made several USO tours to entertain troops and took time to sign autographs, shake hands and share jokes on an intimate, personal level.
Robin Williams was one of the greatest Wingmen we've ever known. Even if you never met him, there's a good chance one of his jokes or characters lifted you up when you were feeling down.
There is always tragedy in death, and Williams' is no exception. However, there is more than just the tragedy of a life cut short. The tragedy here is the missing wingman.
There are two missing wingmen in this tragedy. One, Williams is no longer able to help others. Two, where was his wingman during his personal struggle?
Williams' struggles were not kept secret. He openly discussed his addiction and his efforts to shake it. It seemed like he quietly cried for help. In interviews, Williams indicated struggles with loneliness during his younger years. His publicist informed news sources that Williams struggled with depression. Williams admitted he struggled with addiction. He sought help in rehab, and had recently entered it again.
The tragedy of Williams' untimely death is no joke. Even in film, many of the characters he portrayed proved to be invaluable Wingmen. Where would Aladdin be without the Genie? What would happen to the Hillard family if Mrs. Doubtfire hadn't been there to help them through their time of need?
It's ironic that the man who gave us so many smiles left us in tears. Perhaps if he had a Wingman to walk with him through his low time, like he had been to so many others, we would be laughing still instead of reminiscing behind watering eyes.
So reach out to your Wingman, because we need each other, through all the highs and lows.
When it seems like your Wingman is on top of the world, rest assured that they may be facing a deep valley very soon.
Don't be the missing wingman.