BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Growing up in a military household has had its effects on me. Everyone always asked if I would follow in my father’s footsteps, but I never had any interest in joining.
However, this changed as I entered my senior year of high school, having yet to plan what I would do once I finished. Not knowing what I wanted for my future, I looked to my dad for advice. He gave me the direction he had always given me, join the military.
He had advocated for the military for as long as I could remember. But this time, he started to talk more about all the adventures and life experiences he had gained in the past 20 years. He spoke of all the missions he had participated in and places he had visited.
After hearing this, I was convinced to give it a chance. So within the next few months, I took the ASVAB and made it through MEPS. I had one job in mind during this whole process, Air Transportation.
Shortly after finishing MEPS, I discovered I didn’t meet the requirements to become Air Trans. And after my recruiter gave me the list of jobs, I was afraid none would give me the experience I was looking for.
But I didn’t let this stop me. The next day, I did some research and found that I qualified for almost every job that didn’t require mechanics. The following week, my dad took me to his former Wing to talk to members about their different career fields.
I talked with many seasoned veterans about their respective jobs that day. Each person gave me a clear description of what they do and spoke to me about military culture and how their job affects the mission. I then realized this wasn’t just a job for these people. It was a way of life.
The members I talked to that day not only inspired me to join, but they also got me excited for my future.
Many young adults are in similar situations to the one I found myself in. Helping them could be as simple as explaining what you do and how it affects such a critical mission. Or showing them the exciting things you have gotten to do throughout your time in the military.
I say all of this to highlight that everyone has the power to influence the next generation of service members, and help guide them to a path where they will succeed.
So, the next time you talk to someone who is interested in joining, tell them about what you do and how it affects the overall mission. Or share all of your interesting experiences and all the different places you have been because of the military. Show them this isn’t just a job it’s a life style.
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