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.


 
 

 

Develop your replacement

Although it might be a hard pill to swallow in today’s self-esteem charged, participation-trophy society, we are all replaceable. I often say of the Air Force’s perpetual personnel moves, we are all transitional employees so we should subscribe to the “hit by a bus” theory of leadership development. In other words, if you don’t show...
 
 

Sports Shorts – May 1, 2014

Summer jobs Luke Air force Base is looking for students that are certified lifeguards for the pool season, Memorial Day to Labor Day. To be eligible to apply, applicants must have a nationally recognized lifeguard certification, current CPR and first-aid training, automated external defibrillator training and water safety instructor certification. To apply for a position,...
 
 
150330-F-BI157-020

Aussie F-35 leaders visit base

Airman Pedro Mota FROM LEFT: Retired Royal Australian Air Vice-Marshal John Quaife, airworthiness board representative, Maj. Nathan Draper, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit Australian squadron leader, and Royal Australian Air Vic...
 

 
Staff Sgt. 
STACI MILLER

CMS aircraft fuel systems provides push for pilot

Staff Sgt.STACI MILLER Airman 1st Class Gary Esposito, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron aircraft fuel systems apprentice, prepares to inspect a 370-gallon external fuel tank on Luke Air Force Base. Esposito inspected the tan...
 
 
Staff Sgt. Staci Miller

Moving Wall Memorial stirs memories, emotions

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Pat McDermott, a member of the Blue Blazer squadron composed of prior 56th Fighter Wing honorary commanders, sings the national anthem Oct. 3 as Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th FW commander, salutes during ...
 
 

24/7 domestic abuse victim advocate hotline confidential, fre

Luke Air Force Base has a Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free and confidential. Individuals can call and have questions answered regarding domestic violence without disclosing identifying information about themselves or partners. The DAVA program has obtained new guidance from the Defense Department AFI...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>