A combination of excitement and nervousness overwhelmed me as my wife and I boarded our flight to my first duty station, Ramstein. I didn’t know what to expect as I began this new chapter of my life as a photojournalist in the U.S. Air Force.
We have been celebrating Earth Day since 1970, when U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson realized the importance of environmental awareness and education and initiated an environmental teach-in day that in turn generated the Earth Day we know today, as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
U.S. Air Forces in Europe recently gained more than 70 master resilience trainers; I count myself lucky to be one of them. However, some people would say the Air Force is lucky to count me as one of its MRTs.
Throughout my Air Force career, I’ve cooked for, performed at and spoken at Asian-Pacific heritage festivities from Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia.
Are you one of the millions of people who started this year with a resolution to improve your life?
About three years ago, I wrote a commentary about Black History Month, also referred to as African-American History Month. As I go back and look at it, I’ve realized it was horribly written, but I was so proud of it and myself.
Military life can be challenging. Frequent deployments and temporary duties, constantly moving to different commands all around the globe, and never staying in one location or with the same people for very long takes its toll on the service member and their family.
Any service member who signed up after 9/11 did so knowing that they would likely deploy to a hostile environment. We all do so willing and eager to serve our country with honor. We read the stories of our courageous brothers and sisters standing up for what they think is right and just, and we gladly follow in their footsteps, fueled by inspiration and ready to take on the world.
I used to wonder if people would look at me differently if they knew. Would they whisper about me? Would they tell others what happened? Does anyone actually have the guts to ask me what happened? Are they looking at me as the girl who’s related to a child killer?
Not unlike previous years, 2015 was a dynamic time for the Mighty 86th and Team Ramstein. We experienced operations, exercises, challenges and shifts — some planned, some not — while generating and employing air mobility, enabling theater and strategic airpower, and operating key Air Force power projection platforms. We supported allies and friends, built partnership capacity, enhanced readiness, and deterred threats as they emerged and developed. In the modern world, Team Ramstein must remain responsive and engaged to be effective, and 2015 saw us doing just that.