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  • Master Sgt. Angela Wilson

    “When I graduated [in 2008], I made history as the oldest person to ever graduate Air Force basic training. I had my 40th birthday while we were at Warrior Week. So, of course we’re all marching out there and the whole flight is saying ‘happy birthday!’ It was really a nice, kind of tear-jerker moment for me. Everyone acknowledging my birthday while I was there was just like ‘wow!’"
  • Staff Sgt. Lisa Williams

    “I ended up in the Navy after graduating with my first master’s degree during the recession. When I got out, it was difficult finding work because my job in the Navy was very specific to Aegis ships. A degree in mental health and experience in the Aegis computer network didn’t give me a lot to go off of. I had the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and with the civilian job I have now, another master’s degree just fits—might as well do it."
  • Senior Airman Gabrielle Yates

    “It could just be the way I grew up. My mom is a single mom, and I tell you, the woman can do anything she wants. She literally learned how to tile our living room floor because she didn’t want to pay someone to do it. She re-shingled the roof, she repaved the driveway. She always said ‘why would I pay someone one to do it when I can do it myself?’ The way I grew up, you can do what you want so long as you’re willing to put in the effort to do it."
  • Jesse Bradby

    “Even just saying [‘I’m going to be an Airman’] means a lot to me. It’s something I’ve wanted since I was 12 — it’s an amazing feeling. To be an Airman is like being the role model you always wanted but for someone else. I know when I was growing up, I really wanted someone to look up to, but I never really had that. Whether it’s being a mentor or helping people in the community, in the unit, or others close to you—that’s what I think being an Airman is. There’s such a sense of pride and leadership."
  • Staff Sgt. Delmy Hernandez

    “When I was little, I wanted to be an artist, but I knew it wasn’t the most lucrative career. I think the creative or artistic part of me is what drew me in to imagery intel; it’s kind of like photography editing. We sharpen features, adjust shading and add annotations to identify those features. I’ve been told before my products are pretty."
  • Airman 1st Class Jarvis Mason II

    “I was in the police academy but realized it wasn’t the right time for me and the family. I have a 4-month-old daughter and having to be up early and keep up with all of my own stuff—it was a lot."
  • Senior Airman Carlton Lopez

    “I work full-time in supply, but when the AGR (Active Guard Reserve) job in comm opened up, it was the perfect opportunity for me to switch over to something I’m truly interested in. I was always interested in information technology, and I’m good with computers. I’m also in school to get my degree in IT, taking 15 credit hours per semester."
  • Airman Drake Gillespie

    “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. In fact, I remember being out there [in Richmond] and multiple people in my chain of command, all the way up to our squadron commander, walked by me and asked ‘Are you okay? Are you feeling nervous?’ But I think that’s one of the cool things about being in the armed forces—having the people around you to look out for you. I don’t think any of us are necessarily ready for a lot of things we’re going to experience, but that’s part of the culture we have; we look out for each other."
  • Master Sgt. Tracie Gates

    “The truth is, y’all would all be naked without me! I am not a formal person...I’m very informal. I’ll be professional, but that’s why I love my job; the relationships. People call me Tracie, and it’s just jokes and having fun that makes work go by. You need that!"
  • Staff Sgt. Herold Desauguste

    “Believe it or not, being a translator can be a very, very hard job. Especially, remember when you do it in two languages that you learn, not your mother language. My language is Haitian Creole but we learn French in school. And especially English too. I still believe I’m still learning English and then I do have an accent because you’re never finish learn a language. Sometimes, it can be very stressful."
192d Fighter Wing