Uncategorized

November 1, 2013

AF culture shift for Navajo Airman

Tech. Sgt. MATTHEW GLOWICKI
56th Security Forces Squadron

Tradition runs deep for Senior Airman Justine Paramo, 56th Medical Group internal medicine technician and a full-blood Navajo. Hailing from Shiprock, N.M., Paramo is familiar with the traditions and customs of her tribe.

“One of the traditions my parents would follow was to have my brother, sister and me stand outside in the snow in order to get rid of our weakness,” she said. “We were kids so we didn’t really mind because we loved playing in the snow.”

But while the traditions of her people run deep, there is another tradition that runs deep in this Airman – service to her country.

“I have a long history of family members serving in the military,” Paramo said. “My late great grandfather was a Navajo code talker. My ‘Nali,’ or paternal grandfather, served in the Army and my ‘Chei,’ or maternal grandfather, served in the Air Force. Both of my parents served in the military as well.”

After graduating from Shiprock High School and attending San Juan College in Farmington, N.M., Paramo decided to continue her family’s legacy of service by joining the Air Force.

“Prior to my enlistment in 2007, my parents brought a Navajo medicine man to perform a ritual and bless me,” she said. “This is traditionally done to keep us safe during our military service.”

While Paramo is proud of her Native American Indian heritage, there are the occasional moments of frustration and laughter.

“I had a guy whisper to me, ‘So, do you guys still live in teepees and ride horses everywhere?’ I started to laugh because I thought he was being silly, but when I looked back at him he was very serious,” she said. “He explained to me that he only learned about Native Americans from his school textbook.”

Being a Native American in the military can be challenging at times due to the different values and traditions of her tribe, Paramo said. But the sense of serving the country and making a difference makes every challenge worth it.

“I don’t think there is a certain word that can describe the feeling of serving your country,” she said, “but for me, it feels fantastic.”




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


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Airman leaves AF to pursue college B-ball career

Courtesy Photo Senior Airman Patrick Paul, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron, shoots a jump shot during a game against the 56th Security Forces Squadron at the Bryant Fitness Center. Paul is finishing out his Air Force commitme...
 
 
140307-F-CB366-007

Airmen shave heads for pilot’s son battling cancer

Senior Airman David Owsianka Airmen from the 62nd Fighter Squadron recently shaved their heads to support a deceased officer’s son who is battling with cancer. Second Lt. Dave Mitchell, former 62nd FS pilot, lost his life dur...
 
 

Three steps to avoid ‘toxic leadership’

Toxic leadership. Sadly, this term has recently become vogue in the lexicon of the Defense Department to describe leaders possessing unfavorable leadership characteristics and whose actions eventually rot an organization from the inside out. Examples of these leaders drape across the weekly headlines and sound bites of newspapers, radio and television. “Leaders” who become drunk...
 

 

Personal improvement, goal setting all part of leadership

In preparation for the changes in regard to officer and enlisted performance reports, and force management issues, it is important to reflect on personal improvement and goal setting. This topic is close to my heart and revolves around leadership. As officers, leaders and mentors, we can all benefit from refreshing our vigilance and attention to...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Instructor pilot selected as Olmsted scholar

Courtesy photo Capt. Daniel Wynn, 56th Operations Support Squadron operations flight commander, prepares to refuel in an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a combat mission over Afghanistan in August 2011. For many U.S. military membe...
 
 

News Briefs April 11, 2013

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct a natural disaster exercise today, which will include military, local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. Those traveling on base should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting individuals with...
 




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