Commentary

December 5, 2013

A 10 year decision

Tags:
Commentary by Airman 1st Class C. Massey
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Commentary_pict
Airman 1st Class Chris Massey holds his son, Mason, while hugging his wife, Sarah after an Air Force basic military training graduation at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Feb. 28, 2013. Massey arrived at BMT 26 days before his 28th birthday and believes that age doesn’t define a person, rank or position because everyone who has joined the military committed to serve our country.

When most people decide to join the military, it’s usually right after high school. They don’t seriously consider joining active duty military at 27 years of age.

As someone who arrived at basic military training 26 days before his 28th birthday, I know all too well that there are reasons for joining ten years later than most.

When I was 17, I visited U.S. Army and Air Force recruiters. Quickly, I decided on the Air Force, as my grandfather, stepfather and cousin had done before me, with my parents’ blessing.

I proceeded to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and scored well enough to impress the recruiter. All that was left was signing my name and swearing in.

I had a moment of doubt that made me question whether or not I was ready. “Why was I joining? What have I done with my life up to this point? What are my other options? Am I ready for this commitment?” I asked myself these questions over and over.

The doubt was too much to ignore so I called the disappointed recruiter to tell him that I had changed my mind.

As each year passed, I wondered, “What if I had joined?” and “Is now the time?”

Over the next 10 years, I married the love of my life and had a healthy baby boy. I had been working the same job for eight years with no chance of advancement and my options in the job market without a degree seemed bleak.

At 27-years old, I had to wonder if it was too late.

I contacted the local recruiter and the first question I asked him about was the age limit for joining active duty. Upon hearing that I only had four months left on the clock, I knew I had a decision to make. It was now or never.

I chose now.

Now 11 months into my military career, I am a 28-year-old airman first class, making me as much as 10 years older than my peers. This will remain a fact for the rest of my military career.

In my opinion, age does not define a person, rank or position because all of us committed to serve our country. We were all taught the same core values and are held to the same standards.

The extra years of personal life experience should be an advantage for me because I feel like I may be better prepared to handle many different situations.




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


 
 

 

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...
 
 

Emergency Air Force aid – blessing in disguise

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D.  — During the month of February, plans to have a little fun on a warm Sunday afternoon came to a screeching halt when the front left wheel of my husband’s truck started to come loose. Had we continued driving that day, our trip may have ended in disaster. By the...
 

 

Financial readiness equals mission readiness

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS)  As a long-time military spouse, I have held various jobs – and I know many of you can relate. I served as a military and family life counselor at an Airman and Family Readiness Center and had the privilege of working with fellow military families to create budgets, develop...
 
 

Button your lip! Loose talk can cost lives

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — “Button your lip! Loose talk can cost lives,” was an operations security propaganda phrase used during World War II which still rings true today. It now goes beyond just buttoning your lips to include “zipping up” your social media sites. Safe web-browsing practices and OPSEC awareness are the best mitigation strategies...
 
 

Bring ‘invisible class’ into view

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — When I was a young boy, my father explained to me that there was dignity in work. He told me to always respect the worker regardless of how thankless or menial their job may appear to be. He said that you never know the burdens a person may be carrying, or...
 




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