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.


 
 

 

Professionalism, mission focus, and a new way forward for base inspections

Professionalism, mission focus, and a new way forward known as the Air Force Inspection System – those three things sum up what members of the Desert Lightning Team should take away from last week’s Unit Effectiveness Inspection. The Air Combat Command Inspector General Team conducted the 355th Fighter Wing’s Capstone event, known as a UEI,...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Reel)

The last bite

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Shake, take, salute and pose for a photo–Tyndall’s 2014 March Enlisted Promotion Ceremony was carrying on as usual. I raised my camera, waited for the grip and grin moment and then...
 
 

When keeping it real goes wrong

It’s Tuesday, and after a long day at work I’m reminded that I have an intramural league basketball game tonight. After arriving home and quickly changing I make my way back to the base gym to avoid the scrutiny of my coach and team mates.  As I begin to search through the maze of a...
 

 
email-pic

The impact of a simple email

It’s been a long day. I’m tired, worn out. It seems like the emails just won’t stop. Review this, update that, and the ever dreaded tasking that was due yesterday. One after another they attack my sanity, chipping away a ...
 
 

Leadership stresses importance of keeping families informed

The Air Force’s on-going force shaping initiatives affect more than our Airmen–they also affect our families.  The concerns and questions Air Force families differ from those of a service member. Family members have few opportunities to engage with commanders and experts and large auditorium briefings and pages of personnel documents are not always the most...
 
 
computer-hands

Think before you act: It only takes a second for your actions to go viral

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Have you ever done something you wish you could take back? Said something mean … wrote something inappropriate … behaved in a way that was disrespectful? I’m sure y...
 




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