Like father, like son – Military dad swears son into Air Force

Nate Cairney
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Every day, dozens of young men and women report to Military Entrance Processing Stations across America to be sworn into service for all branches of the military. It is rare that a young man takes the oath with his father as the presiding official. It is even more uncommon that a father who serves in the Army swears his son into the Air Force.

Yet that’s exactly what happened Sept. 7 at the Air Force recruiting station at Kapaun. Justin Holliday, a 17 year-old senior at Ramstein American High School, was sworn into the Air Force by his father, Army Capt. Michael Perry.
“How often do you get to see your husband swear your son into the military?” said Elsie Perry, Justin’s mother. “That’s not an everyday occurrence.”
As part of a military family, and after having participated in Junior ROTC for the past three years, Justin is very familiar with military values and culture.
On July 3, 2007, however, he’ll experience the real deal when he leaves for basic training at Lackland Air Base in San Antonio. There, he is scheduled to begin training as an airborne cryptologic linguist, having scored 133 out of a possible 140 points on the Defense Language Aptitude Battery portion of the ASVAB.

“I look at it (language training) as a stepping stone,” Justin said. “I want to be a fighter pilot.”

Knowing that, Captain Perry used his experience as a former Army recruiter to help steer his son toward his aviation dreams. The Air Force was the best place for a young man who wanted to fly.

Even though they joke about the differences between Army and Air Force, both men like the sense of camaraderie, teamwork and service to country that life in the military service brings.

Following basic training, Justin is scheduled to begin language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.