Airmen succeeding successful Airmen

Story and photo by Airman 1st Class D. Blake Browning
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Steven Brummitt, 86th Communications Squadron commander, administers the oath of enlistment to Tech. Sgt. Jamee Dean, 86th Communications Squadron communication focal point section chief, and her son Shandon Dean June 26 at the Berlin Wall Memorial near the Ramstein Officers’ Club. Colleagues, friends, and family members attended the brief ceremony allowing Dean to reenlist at the same time her son enlists in the Air Force.

To some it is a collection of words, outlining what it means to be an Airman, the Airmen’s Creed has integrated its way in all Airmen in some part of their career. While to others, it holds true to their very core.
An excerpt from the second stanza of the Airman’s creed reads, “I am faithful to a proud heritage, a tradition of honor, and a legacy of valor.” A statement one family stands by as they bring a family member of their own into an entirely new family.
“My dad served in Vietnam for a couple of years,” said Tech. Sgt. Jamee Dean, 86th Communications Squadron communication focal point section chief. “My uncle served in the Navy, and my grandfather served in World War II.”
While some families have a lineage of service members, Dean and her son Shandon stand out as they were fortunate enough to re-enlist and enlist at the same time.
“I want to stay in,” said Dean. “I want to help develop new Airmen that are coming in, like my son. I love the Air Force, I don’t want to retire. I want to mentor and be there for them like my mentors have been for me.”
Though both Dean and her son have different motivators behind their commitment, the dedication to service is a connection they both share.
“Joining the military will help me set up my life,” Shandon said. “The first few years in the military your housing is paid for, your food is paid for, your clothing is paid for, and you’re there to develop yourself as a person.”
Although the military lifestyle offers numerous benefits, there are drawbacks that come with it. Family members experience it first-hand.
“The worst part of being a military child is pretty much deployments,” Shandon said. “There’s a lot of waiting, wondering what my mom is doing. Every time we talked, I would wait for the next conversation. Other than that, there aren’t that many downsides being a military family member. The best part is being part of a community wherever you go, any base that you go to, you are a part of that community now. It’s like being a part of a big family.”
Shandon is slated to become a linguist and says he recognizes the sacrifices his mother has made and fully understands the responsibilities while following in her footsteps within the Air Force.
“Plenty of people are heroic,” Shandon said. “Policemen, firefighters, they all put their lives on the line. But my mom has always been my hero. She’s never let me down, she’s always there when I need her. She is my hero.”