Voices of the VaANG: Airman 1st Class Lamaas Bey

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

“I guess for me it was about working with something I had never worked with before. Then, I thought about if I were to leave the military, would I be able to get a good paying job outside? Those were the two factors that really steered me towards working on the F-22. Learning something new and what I could do with it outside of the military. 

I was 38 at the time I joined, and I pretty much had done everything I wanted to accomplish in my life. I have a nice home, nice car, wife, children; I was a teacher for over 10 years and even had a few of my own businesses. But, I never was the type to just be satisfied with one thing; I always wanted to see what I could improve upon or what I could accomplish next. I chose this path to bring some gratification and excitement into my life. I wanted to do something I could learn and continue to learn each day. Sure enough, I was able to get into the military — and it’s one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life.

The best part has been getting to know people from all walks of life. Obviously, coming in as the new guy, you’ve got to earn your way — earn some respect in the sense of knowing your craft a little bit. The experiences I’ve had in the past have always been in some type of leadership position. Me coming in as an A1C [Airman 1st Class], at the age I’m at, I’m still a leader; that aspect doesn’t go away. At the same time, I’m also a very humble person, so although I’m an A1C and there are staff sergeants who are half my age, I’m still able to balance being a leader and also taking orders. Once I’ve gotten to be around people and work with them enough, I can tell we are a very close knit group.”

—Airman 1st Class Lamaas Bey, 192nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-22 crew chief