VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Over the course of a 20-year career, I have experienced some challenges at the squadron level due to decisions made by higher headquarters staff personnel that have negatively impacted squadrons or go against what a commander might think is best for their squadron.
The military lifestyle brings about constant change. One of the biggest and most drastic of the changes is the act of physically uprooting the family, sometimes on a semi-annual or annual basis. As exciting as a change of scenery might be, a permanent change of station could also bring overwhelming […]
The name of the English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton might not be familiar to many people, but they may know his famous quote, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”
Anger is a wildfire. When it’s just an ember, a simple splash of water can put it out. But if you let it grow, it becomes dangerous and tougher to extinguish. I’ve never been the type of person to express my true feelings to people. I’m stubborn to the core, […]
It was a chilly spring evening as I was driving home after spending some time with friends. My wife, who was nine months pregnant at the time, was sleeping soundly in the passenger seat. My only concern at the moment was to bring her home as quickly and safely as possible.
I readjust my shorts for the tenth time as I walk toward the group of people waiting around the van, reading the requirements for appropriate clothing. “Are they too short? It’s too hot outside for pants, but what if I’m the only one wearing shorts? Oh, she’s wearing sweats and […]
I left for Air Force Basic Military Training on May 11, 2015. I left behind most of my immediate family, the love of my life, Joseph, and our two dogs. The six-hour drive to the Military Entrance Processing Station was filled with every emotion ranging from anxious to excitement. An […]
My name is Stephanie. I was born and I enlisted into the Air Force as Jonathan from St. Louis, Missouri. My father was in the Air Force as well, and it just made sense for me to leave home the same way. My first year in the military was filled with what I would say every child leaving home deals with; learning who they are and learning to accept the different parts of who they are. That’s when I came out as transgender male-to-female, and at first, it was a very difficult few months. I first only came out to certain friends, and of course family, and all the change left me in a difficult place until I was introduced to the military’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community, OutServe-SLDN, Germany. Through this group I made many friends, and was accepted into their family almost immediately. After a few months of this, I had the confidence to live as who I was until I began pursuing treatment.
I’m often asked by younger Soldiers and Airmen: what was it like serving under don’t ask, don’t tell? My response, “I was an actress.” Every day I lived a double life. I would pretend to be interested in men. When out with co-workers I would flirt with guys who flirted […]
As a photojournalist Airman, I have documented some amazing stories of the Air Force. Unfortunately, I have also had the duty to document the military’s ugly side.