From pharmacist to Airman

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Photo by Senior Airman JAMES HENSLEY

Some of the reasons people join the Air Force are the education benefits and job security. Many Airmen had jobs before joining.

“I was a pharmacy technician back when it didn’t require formal education,” said Staff Sgt. Ashley Byers, 56th Force Support Squadron commander’s support staff NCO in charge. “When the requirement changed I knew I needed an alternative. My family is military and recommended going to talk to a recruiter. I talked to the recruiter and decided it would be the best thing for me and a great stepping stone.”

Since joining the Air Force, Byers has won awards including, most recently, the FSS Military Performer of the Month for May. She has been to Bolling Air Force Base, Washington DC, and Luke Air Force Base. She has also deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan.

“Getting to see the bigger picture of what goes on made the deployments really valuable,” Byers said. “Being downrange you can actually see how you help people reduce stress. Making sure they’re taken care of administratively helps them focus on their main mission.”

While her deployment gave her pride in her work, one thing topped it.

“Becoming a mother was my proudest moment,” Byers said. “I have two kids and being able to see them grow brings me a lot of pride.”

From being a pharmacy technician on the civilian side to becoming an Airman, Byers leaves a good impression on those around her.

“She’s a very bubbly type of person and greets everyone politely,” said Capt. Shawna Parker, 56th FSS operations officer. “She’s really great at customer service and has a really positive personality. Byers also does a lot of community service. I can see her as a technical sergeant in the future continuing to lead and mentor Airmen at her next assignment at Andersen AFB, Guam.”

Byers, always working to better herself, has goals for the future and continues to reach for them.

“I’m currently in upgrade training but my goal is to one day become a pharmacist,” Byers said. “I’m proud to say I’m part of the one percent of the country to join the military.”