Commentary

January 18, 2013

Fit to fight, proud to parent

Tags:
SrA Brittany Dowdle
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle, 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, hugs her son, Easton, Jan. 10. As a single parent in the military, Dowdle faces unique challenges when it comes to taking care of her son. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore)

Monday through Friday, I get out of bed, put on my United States Air Force uniform with pride, and walk down the hall to wake up and prepare my two-year-old for the day.

Being a single parent in the military is not the most paid, the most prestigious, or the most sought after lifestyle; but for me, when I look at my son, I know he is well taken care of and that I can provide for him on my own.

Being a mother is one of the best feelings in the world to me, but I am also part of less than 1 percent of the country’s population who said that they will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies. I may have to miss dinners, bedtimes or even birthdays. Those are challenges a civilian single parent may not have to face, but I know I have a job defending my country. Yet, I can still be his mom.

I work a full time job, pick up a toddler, feed him, bathe him, and make sure we are both ready for the next day before going to bed, all while staying physically, emotionally and mentally fit to fight.

I’ve heard people say, “If the Air Force wanted you to have kids, they would have issued them to you.” To those people I say, in today’s Air Force there are programs in place that make it easier for a single parent to be an Airman and a parent. I can put on my uniform every day, just like anyone without kids, and do my job while providing for my child.

In a new location, I have to make friends, quickly, and trust them enough to take my son at a moment’s notice. It’s a lot to ask of a person you might not know very well, to take your child for an undetermined amount of time, with very little notice. As a mother that potentially has to leave her child with that person, there are different worries that cross my mind.

As a military member, I know that I could be called at anytime to go fight for my country. As a parent, I know that when my child needs me, I need to be there day or night. As a parent in the military, I know I will have to leave my child, at some point, to provide for my country and to do what is asked of me.

I know that in fighting for my country, I can help provide the freedoms that we as Americans enjoy every day. As my son grows up, I hope he understands the sacrifices he made so he could enjoy the same freedoms that I am a part of fighting for.

There are days when I want to just go home, take off my boots, relax and be alone to unwind. I don’t always get to do that, but when I look into my son’s blue eyes, all of my stress from the day just melts away. He has a way of making me feel like all my worries and anxieties from the day don’t really matter as much as I thought they did.

Being a single Airman who happens to have a child is not always an easy task, but I am Senior Airman Dowdle, professionally; and mommy, personally. I wouldn’t have it any other way.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
IronMan_pict

Special Operations develops ‘Iron Man’ Suit

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit is cool. But it’s not real. The Tactical Assault Light Operators Suit is cool, too. But it is real and may soon be protecting America’s special operations forces...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to...
 
 

Lessons learned in protecting social media accounts

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — On a Saturday afternoon in late November, I was informed about a political remark that appeared on my Director of Public Affairs Twitter feed. A staff member called to ask if I was aware of the re-tweet. At the time, I was on leave, out of the state, tending to my daughter...
 

 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are...
 
 

Living in the New Normal

The Military Child Education Coalition, or MCEC, will be hosting Living in the New Normal Institute, Feb. 4-5. LINN-I is a free two-day institute outlining specific community resources, deployment information and practical strategies for encouraging resilience in all children. Some learning outcomes to expect from the training are differentiating affective aspects of children dealing with...
 
 
Training_pict4

Air Force, Army conduct joint service training

U.S. Air Force and Arizona Army National Guard units conducted joint training at a southern Arizona military training range Jan. 20. A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Fighter Squadron, based out of D-M, and a UH-60A Black Ha...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin