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.


 
 

 
NEW_1

Luke F-35s visit Columbus AFB

Airman 1st Class Daniel Lile A T-6 Texan II roars overhead as the pilots of two Luke Air Force Base F-35 Lightning IIs prepare to exit their aircraft July 23 at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. The pilots are Capt. Nichola...
 
 

Gillespie Loop: Honors Airman who made ultimate sacrifice

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — The men and women of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing came together for a road dedication ceremony to honor Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie, a fallen Airman who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Master Sgt. Randy Gillespie was a career fuels specialist who died July 9, 2007, from wounds sustained during small...
 
 

Who’s afraid of a little blood?

I have been in the Air Force for 22 years and have been a medical laboratory technician since the beginning of my career. The medical or clinical laboratory is where specimens are tested to provide information to medical providers who directly assist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in patients. After graduating basic...
 

 

Pursue education for career’s sake

Everyone knows education can be a good bullet on an enlisted performance report, but few know the true value of an education in regard to a military career. The pursuit of an education can be just as valuable as the degree acquired at the end. The knowledge acquired in the pursuit of an education can...
 
 
Pg-3--photo-illustration

Candid money talk improves relationship

There are many reasons why people divorce but at the top of the list are lack of communication and finances. That’s why it’s important to combine these two topics to make for a successful long-lasting relationship. “I bel...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

Total body conditioning class A new total body conditioning class is 6:30 and 9 a.m. Monday and Wednesday. The 6:30 a.m. class is broken into two half hour segments to accommodate squadron or individual physical training. The 9 a.m. class is one hour. The class consists of body weight movements and the use of equipment...
 




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>