Updated: Nov 27, 2018
I have been in the U. S. Air Force for just under 11 years. Man does the time fly! I have had the opportunity to meet some life long friends along the way and see some amazing places. My career started out in the winter of 2007. I was in college at Hampton University and decided I no longer wanted to be a broke student anymore. At 21 years old, I was ready for my life to begin. I will never forget having to make that phone call to my mother to tell her I had decided to join the military. Her father served and she always told me that she never wanted her children to join the military. However, it was out of fear. She only wanted to protect her kids.
Basic training was not as hard as I anticipated. I realized it was more about the mental stress than the physical stress. I had struggles in both areas but made it through. My mother and grandmother flew out to San Antonio, TX for my graduation and when I first saw my mother she was smiling and crying! She was so proud of me and seeing me in my Dress Blues made her so happy. She knew I had accomplished something I set out to do. One of the many life lessons she always made sure I understood. Never quit.
After my technical training, I flew out to Denver, CO. Luckily, I met a few good friends in my technical school that I would be stationed with. It made the transition a little easier as I didn't feel so alone. My time in Colorado was absolutely amazing. I had never seen mountains before and fell in love with watching the sunsets while I was there. I deployed for the first time while stationed there. I spent 12 months in Afghanistan. It was a life
After returning from my deployment, I was then moved to Hawaii. My favorite duty station so far in my career! Shortly after arriving, I found out I was selected for promotion to E-5. I was so excited and surprised! However, due to the distance, my family wasn't able to make it to my promotion ceremony. I was a little sad but my mother told me she would't miss another one.
I found several new interests while I was stationed in Hawaii. I purchased my first camera from a garage sale while I was there. I do wish that I knew more about photography while I was there in order to have more opportunities to take photos of the amazing scenery. As much as I wanted to stay there, I deployed for a second time to Afghanistan. I hoped that this deployment would allow me to stay in Hawaii, but the Air Force had other plans. However, I had the unique opportunity to re-enlist on the back of a C-130 which was pretty sweet!
After returning to Hawaii, I got my orders to Virginia. As disappointed as I was to leave Hawaii, Virginia has been some of the best years of my life. I met my wife after only being here 2 months. I had no idea we would be married one day but it's been a blessing. I also found my passion for photography which is leading me down a fantastic journey! And my first year in Virginia came with a promotion...And guess who made it! You guessed it! Momma!!!!
I decided to share all of this simply to give a glimpse into my other career. It's been an amazing journey. Lots of growth, laughter, tears, and victories. I've made lifelong friends, found the love of my life, and have been able to travel around the world. The Air Force has been a blessing. I want to thank all Veterans for their service. I don't know what the future holds for me in my military career but I'm grateful for what I have experienced so far!