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.


 
 

 
headstones-with-flags-300-dpi

This Memorial Day, honor those who gave all

Courtesy photo   Memorial Day. A long weekend, barbeques, parades, door busting sales at the mall, and the un-official start of summer . . . With all the excitement of warmer weather and fun in the sun that come with Memor...
 
 
(Courtesy photo/Liz Jacobson)

Ten seconds later and that picture still exists

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFNS) — There is a conversation many teenagers have had with their parents or friends, me included. “Hey, don’t worry! It’ll be fine; all of the pictures I send disappear after ten secon...
 
 

Have faith in the Air Force system

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ — Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point...
 

 

Who has heard of Special Victims’ Counsel?

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — When I first briefed the Special Victims’ Counsel Program at Right Start and First Term Airman Center briefings here, audience participation was slim to none. It appeared as though the group I briefed was not interested in learning more about our program or that they didn’t know anything about...
 
 

Make time to mentor your Airmen

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ — The Air Force is comprised of Airmen with many skills and talents. The backbone to our continued success is our men and women who strive to be excellent on a daily basis. However, there are times when our focus is derailed by our own personal and professional guidelines. I was taught...
 
 

Becoming stronger through failure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — Failing the Air Force physical training test: my greatest fear since joining the military. It is embarrassing to admit recently that fear came to fruition, but what I have learned through that failure has become one of my greatest strengths. After failing, I definitely felt like a weak person for not...
 




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