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Personal Values And My Air Force Experience

1031 words - 4 pages

I was only nine years old, but I can almost still feel the bitter cold and the excitement in the thin air while sitting in the stands in the Rocky Mountains. The rivalry between the two Service Academies was at an all time high as the coveted Commander in Chiefs trophy was still up for grabs. Although the battle ensuing on the field between the two foes was formidable, it was the battle upon what to do with my life that was of greater consequence. The outcome of the game is now forgotten but the impression that the young servicemembers left would forever be etched in the back of my mind. Despite my young age, I knew that I would answer the call to join these young men and women and the values that were instilled in me would allow me to join their ranks. At this game, I concluded that the values my parents taught me would play a vital role in my development as an officer, lead to important experiences and fulfill the Air Force mission while supporting our joint services.
Growing up, my parents made it abundantly clear the importance of the values of service, education and leadership. Through his example as a firefighter, my father instilled in me the importance of duty and service to others. My mother, a preschool teacher, taught that education was the cornerstone to success. Combined, they were actively involved in school activities that my sister and I participated in, often as the presidents of the Parent Teacher Association, demonstrating the necessity to lead organizations. These values, covertly demonstrated throughout my life, made me want to surround myself with like minded people and I knew I could if I answered the call of the young cadets during that cold November football game.
While in high school, I did everything that I could to ensure entrance into the Air Force Academy from participating in sports and various afterschool activities to excelling at the most advanced classes that I could take. Initially, I did not receive an appointment into the Air Force Academy. Discouraged but not defeated, I took the opportunity to attend New Mexico Military Institute on a Falcon Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship allowed me to achieve my goal of attending the Academy, even if in a roundabout way. A year after high school and one year of junior college under my belt, I entered the Academy and gave my best at the abundance of education that was presented. While attendance at the Academy was a lifelong dream, I now had to focus on the next goal in my life: to serve as an officer in the Air Force. I decided that the best way that I could utilize my talents to fulfill this goal was to become a pilot. Therefore, after graduating, I packed my bags and moved to Laughlin AFB, Texas to enter pilot training. With a lot of hard work, some self discovery and even more luck, I earned my Air Force Wings. I was about to...

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