Commentary

December 7, 2012

A dream cut short

Airman Blake Hubbard
Shaw AFB, S.C.

As I stood, sweating outside the Military Enlistment Processing Station on a hot day June 24, 2010, I knew I had made a very important and life changing decision; the decision to join the United States Air Force.

I joined the Air Force to attend school, travel, and grow as an individual. I left for Basic Military Training on the cold winter morning of December 27, 2010. At BMT, I became the Tactical Deployment Leader during our simulated deployment training, which was the first time I was placed in a leadership role of that magnitude. I never gave up, even as Military Training Instructors were screaming in my face and telling me that I would I fail.

On Feb. 28, 2011, I experienced one of the most memorable accomplishments in my life: being in my Air Force service dress uniform and graduating BMT. At that moment, I was looking forward to a promising career as a broadcast journalist.

Upon BMT graduation, I attended technical training school at Fort George G. Meade, Md., where I was surrounded by many great individuals. I met, several lifelong friends and had unforgettable experiences in Baltimore and Washington D.C. After graduating, I received orders to Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., where I was the only broadcaster at the installation, which caused me to learn quickly through on-the-job-training.

I was afforded opportunities to venture beyond Shaw to receive training at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., where I sat in on webinars, conference calls, and online video training from Poynter University. I was fortunate enough to attend a 40-hour National Press Photography Association seminar as well in San Antonio, Texas, which gave me skills to network on a global scale.

While assigned to Shaw I was coined six times, received 10 letters of appreciation and was Airman of the Quarter within my flight.

My career ending mistake occurred in early spring, while hanging out with a friend and fellow Airman. I was working on my vehicle when I started to feel sleepy because it was so late. My wingman offered me his pills to help me stay awake and focus. Being away from family, friends, and in an unfamiliar environment at the age of 19, it was very easy to stray away from my morals and sacrifice personal judgment. I thought of it as harmless especially because I wasn’t on base.

After taking the pills my coordination and concentration spiked, allowing me to stay up for the remainder of the evening to complete the work on my vehicle.

A few weeks went by and we were cleaning his garage when again, my wingman offered me his medication to help me focus on the task at hand. After finishing the work in the garage, we went back inside to play video games. During the following weeks, I didn’t really think about it again.

On Oct. 11, 2012, several months later, I found myself in the very service dress uniform that I had once been so proud of. It was then that I experienced yet another life changing moment. However, there was nothing accomplishing about standing in front of my commander as she read her recommendation for discharge from the Air Force.

As I stood at attention, I realized that my career was severely short-lived because I chose to make poor decisions.

As a result, I was required to perform extra duties, was restricted to base and lost a stripe along with my dignity.

I called my mom and told her that I’d made a mistake that cost me my career. I then had to tell her that I had to move back home, which was not easy.

My actions didn’t just impact me, they negatively affected my unit as well. Due to my reckless disregard for the Uniform Code of Military Justice, my discharge has caused low morale in my squadron and strained my wingmen, who now have to pick up my extra duties and responsibilities.

In addition, knowing that I disappointed senior leadership was a lot to deal with. I was one of the most responsible and respected troops in my unit, and what I did erased all the credibility I had worked so hard to attain.

Temptation is all around us and it presents itself in different ways. The choices and decisions we make today, directly affect our futures. Just because you didn’t get caught in the act does not mean it won’t come back up later.

Please don’t get caught up as I have, because life on the other side of the gate is not promising. Make smart decisions and go with your gut feeling when in doubt, because a bad choice will land you in hot water. A couple hours of fun aren’t worth a permanent discharge.




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


 
 

 
sarc-osi

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: OSI’s perspective

Sexual assault is a problem that affects our entire society, especially our Air Force. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations’ role in combating sexual assault includes conducting thorough investigations and provi...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week of 18 Apr

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - Christians around the world are celebrating Easter or Resurrection Sunday this week. Many have a tradition of wearing new clothes on that day as a way to symbolize the newness of life.  You know how it feels to have a...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - There is an old saying: “Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day; teach someone to fish and you feed them for life.” The same is true in developing character.  You can give a law or command...
 

 

The Emotionless Leader: trusted, respected by Airmen

“I don’t want to hurt her career …” “He’s the best NCO I’ve got. I don’t want to see him lose a stripe …” How many times have you heard someone in a leadership position make statements such as these when contemplating disciplinary actions when an Airman or NCO makes a terrible decision? Whether due...
 
 

A Chaplain’s perspective on sexual assault

Have you ever had your soul torn in two? In other words, have you ever been hurt at such a deep level that you don’t think you will ever be healed again? That is what happens with a sexual assault. It cuts deep into a person so that their very being is damaged in ways...
 
 

Gaining Altitude – Growth Opportunities for the Week

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community - We don’t like people to be insincere. But how do we know when a person is insincere?  George Orwell said long ago, “The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s...
 




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>