Tuesday, November 22, 2005

"Why I Serve"

Air ForceI wanted to continue with the military theme because Thanksgiving is this week and we need to keep our soldiers at the top of our list of people and things to be thankful for! While looking for places to send messages to the troops, I came across this page on the US Air Force website. It is a place where soldiers can publish their reason or reasons why they serve. For some it was a call to duty, for others it was 9/11, or a family tradition, or yes, a way to get out of a small or poor town. I've posted several of these letters, but I encourage you to go to the US Air Force site and read more. They are inspiring.
"I serve because a member from every generation of my family since the Civil War has served. Why should my generation be any different? I serve because I had an excellent role model, my father, Senior Master Sgt. Gary Smith, who retired after 28 years of dedicated service. I serve because my brother, Senior Airman Mark Smith, dedicated six years of his life to serve. I serve with my husband, Tech. Sgt. James Woods, who has been deployed four times in six years for a total of 18 months, who sacrificed witnessing the birth of our two children for the greater good of the mission...our people, our country. I serve because it has been my life, it is all I know...it is my past, my present and my children's future. I serve because I am proud of our "family business." I serve because it is a time-honored tradition. I serve because I love to serve."
Senior Airman Tiffany Woods
Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
"A year and a half ago, I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. I just graduated with a bachelor's degree from the Philippines, and with the economic situation in my country, my future was vague, foggy and indefinite. Then, I was given a chance to live here in the United States. Being able to live and work in this country is a pride in itself for my fellow countrymen. Filipinos yearn to come here to live, yet I was lucky because I didn't ask for it, but destiny was on my side. When I came here, I had a lot of plans about my life. I wanted to be in a medical school, be a doctor and live my life. However, sometimes life's path is surprising, least to say unexpected. I was in a mall one day when an Air Force staff sergeant was approached by an old lady. She went to him and said, "Hi, I just want to say thank you for serving." She was crying. That scene stuck on me. I was amazed that there is this kind of job. From that moment on, I said to myself I want to be in the Air Force. I want a job that will make me proud of what I do."
Airman First Class Julius V. Delos Reyes
Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
"I serve because of a great role model, my father, Col. (Ret.) Gary R McCurdy. He spent 32 years in the Air Force, going from airman to colonel. I grew up in the military and am the fourth generation to serve in the Air Force. I serve so my wife can sleep safe at night; so those who came before me will be honored; so my country will remain free. As a pallbearer for the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, I see the families left behind, who thank me with tears in their eyes for the honors we render for their loved ones. That is why I serve."
Airman First Class Casey K. McCurdy
Bolling Air Force Base, D.C.
"The first day I graduated from basic training and went to downtown San Antonio, Texas, a man came up to me while I was wearing my "blues" and said, "You military folks are wrong. We have no business in Iraq. Why would you join military of bullies and idiots?" I turned around, unshaken, determined and calm (thanks to my training instructor) and said to that man, "Sir, I joined this military to defend my country against enemies foreign and domestic. I joined in because of 9/11. I joined in order to ensure you would have and will continue to have the RIGHT to say what you've just said." With that, I stood at attention and wished him a good day. He stood there as I walked off, dumbfounded and in a humble silence. THAT'S WHY I SERVE."
Senior Airman EliSamuel Quinones
Langley Air Force Base, Va.
"Coming from a small town with little economic interest I knew I had to escape. The Air Force was a great opportunity. After 12 years and five commands I can say with certainty that we write history on a daily basis. From Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan we have given the gift of choice through elections and freedoms that were only dreamed of before. That’s job satisfaction."
Staff Sgt. Kyle Brown
Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
These men and women are so amazing and for whichever reason they joined the Air Force, I am more grateful than I can say.

If you want to leave a Holiday message for the soldiers, you can have one published in Stars & Stripes or something of a bulk email at America Supports You. Don't forget that you can adopt soldiers through Soldiers' Angels or Adopt-A-Platoon among others.

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