Q1) What inspired you to serve in the US Air Force?
My initial inspiration for serving was to complete my college education. Following my first year of college, I found that the cost was quite more than I was able to handle and I’d heard through several channels that the military paid for its service members to get their education at no cost to the member whatsoever. Seeing this as a perfect opportunity for my education advancement, I withdrew from college and enlisted to begin my career in the US Air Force.
However, following my first couple of years in service, my inspiration changed. I’ve always been a defender by nature but my military experiences reinforced my passion for helping others and protecting those who couldn’t otherwise protect themselves. I carried this ideology throughout the remainder of my military tenure and it has been with me even in the private sector.
Q2) What was your biggest challenge during your service with the US Air Force?
I would say that my biggest challenge was two-fold – Working in a hostile environment can be extremely unnerving and stressful. If an operator performs with even the smallest margin of error, there could be serious consequences, to include the loss of lives. Having been in such situations, I was faced with making quick yet absolute sound decisions under some of the most adverse scenarios imaginable.
On the other hand, deployments were difficult because they separated me from my family, sometimes for unknown periods of time and in places that I couldn’t divulge. As a result, there were several nights my family was left questioning my well-being. However, God showed me grace as I was always brought home safe from all missions without serious incident, each and every time.
Q3) How would you describe the relationships with your fellow military members?
The military community is a close network of men and women who build relationships on trust, ethics, and character. In many cases, military relationships are forged over time to be comparable to what we call “family”. Military members come from all walks of life, but at the end of the day we all share the same common bond – we fight alongside one another and serve our country, regardless of our differences and past.
Thanks to my history with my fellow military comrades, I can proudly say that to this day I hold close friendships with several brother and sisters that has lasted for decades.
Q4) If you had it to do all over again, what would you have done differently?
If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t have done anything differently at all. The US Air Force affected my life in such a way that it helped further build my character, taught me invaluable life skills, exposed me to a level of global defense that a fraction of most military members don’t experience, gave me access to a professional network, and allowed me to shape relationships with people who I would later consider family. Most important, I have memories that will always hold a special in my heart and mind.