Voices of the VaANG: Airman 1st Class Jarvis Mason II

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lucretia Cunningham
  • 192nd Wing

“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.

At the time, I kind of felt like a failure because I’ve never quit anything. Being in the Air Force, I’ve been to basic [training], I’ve been yelled at, but I felt like people were going to say ‘he couldn’t handle it,’ or ‘it’s not for everybody.’ But it’s not just me, I have a fiance and a 4-month-old. When I’m stressed out, they’re stressed out; even though she’s only 4 months old, it’s still a lot.

Now, I interpret it in a good way. After I called my unit and said I could come to training, they asked if I wanted to go to combat arms school. Ever since I’ve been in the Guard, I’ve wanted to go to CATM (Combat Arms Training and Maintenance), so I viewed it as an opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to do.

My dad was in the Guard, and his dad was in the Guard—they actually served in Desert Storm together. We kind of have a little Guard legacy, but I don’t want to choose my daughter’s destiny just yet—it’s her path.

I tell people all the time I’ve been enlisted for 2 ½ years, and I’ve been half-way around the world and back. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or what you do in your civilian life, you can do it! Even if you do have a family and you feel like you can’t leave them to go to training or anything like that; if you have support, you can do anything.

I get a lot of support from home and it helps tremendously. And not once has the unit made me feel like they’re more important than my family. It’s another thing that’s going to keep me in; I never have to choose between my family’s wants or needs and security forces.” —Airman 1st Class Jarvis Mason II, 192nd Security Forces Squadron security forces journeyman