November 17th, 2017 was a big day for me. Around 8:30 am, I finally swore in to the United States Air Force on base surrounding by family and soon-to-be military crew. My parents, boyfriend, and really good friends showed up. I shook nervously as I repeated the military oath to defend the United States against enemies (don’t judge me. I still don’t know the oath yet). However, to be quite honest, the person that we had to repeat after didn’t know the oath either. He stumbled about as he read the paragraph off of a 5×3 index card. I took in a deep breath to reduce the shakes. Within a few minutes, I signed the papers and was officially a part of the military.
They always say things happen right on time. This couldn’t be more true. I wanted to join the military nearly 10 years ago. If I had, I would already be at my halfway mark. Yet, my life would be dramatically different. I probably would have been stationed somewhere and living a traditional military career. Maybe, I would’ve been overseas or in the middle of Florida. I could nearly assure you, my life would not have been as colorful…
After returning from overseas, I tried again to join the military… “Active,” I said, “I have nothing to lose.” The Air Force doors were never open. I knocked on teh Navy’s doors and they welcomed me in. After taking the ASVAB, they tried very hard to convince me to join the nuclear program… but the Army promised me an officer position. My LASIK eye surgery delayed the process for a little over a year. By the time they called me, my recruiter was off again… probably back in his beloved sniper job… and I was working full-time. That afternoon that I told them, “Not now” is so clear and vivid. I was turning down the military once again… I hung up the phone and returned to studying.
I couldn’t push the idea out of my mind. This past summer, one of my classes that I teach were cut, and to be honest, I was struggling financially. Yet, stress was no longer foreign to me. I had my good days and I had my bad days, but I also started meditating. The idea of the military came back. I decided to find out about the Air Force medical opportunities rather than Army. From experience, I knew that this would be a few months-long process. Somehow, I got the phone number of a department in Atlanta, GA. They transferred me to someone who transferred me to the head of the scholarship opportunity. During each transfer, I mumbled to myself, “This is crazy. They’re all available right now. I’m too lucky. I swear if this next person picks up the phone, I’m joining.” Each time, I found myself picking my jaw off of the ground. The man in charge was kind and advised me to join the Air National Guard while I’m in school taking pre-reqs. Afterwards, it would be easier to enter the scholarship program and I would take it from there. Following his advice later that evening, I completed an application to be contacted by the guard. Much to my surprise, I was contacted the next day. And the next moment, I called the office which never has anyone and… they picked up. Soon, I was in the recruiter’s chair and completing paperwork. Everything was completed within a month. I waited for November and here I am, part of the Guard.
This past weekend, I completed my first drill. It was from 7am to 4pm. Nothing hard. We just completed a lot of paperwork, learned some drill and ceremony, and ate delicious food. You see, I’m part of the student flight. Prior to leaving for basic, I will be part of this flight where we learn the foundations of being in the air Force. After training for tech school, I will return and work my job position one weekend a month, 2 weeks a year, and hopefully on some deployments. It’s a pretty cool way to get my foot in the door, decide if I like military life, then decide if I would like to be an active military medical personnel.
Whatever happens, I’ll keep you updated. Until then, I’ll keep updating about my life!