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  • I was determined to live

    I don't mean "the parachute opened in just the knick of time as I plummeted to the Earth" kind of save.I was failing college classes and getting into trouble. I didn't care if my decisions lead to jail or death. I was too busy recklessly living in the moment while not giving a thought to the future. I knew I needed to make a decision. So I raised
  • No Bad Wingmen

    In too many mishap investigations we find out there were other Airmen present. Some were in a position to physically intervene or at least say, "knock it off," and potentially prevent the mishap person from dying or sustaining severe injuries; but for some reason they chose not to. Law enforcement calls these negligent bystanders witnesses. I call
  • National Prematurity Awareness Month: A Vandenberg Airman's birth story

    Editor's Note: November National Prematurity Awareness Month. This is one Airman's story about the birth of her premature twins.I was 30 weeks pregnant with fraternal twin boys the day before Thanksgiving 2011. It was my first pregnancy and despite the surprise that I was carrying more than one baby -- it had been an uneventful pregnancy. My aunt
  • Riding Stupid Kills

    There are many ways to kill yourself -- riding stupid is one of them. According to a recent Air Combat Command Safety study, more than 80 Airmen across the Air Force have died while motorcycling in the last 5 years. The sad thing: in 63 percent of the cases, Airmen were willfully non-compliant; that is, they tempted fate with one or more of the
  • Civilian vs Military Justice System: How do they compare?

    When I was in high school, before I learned that the military even had lawyers, I believed commanders imposed punishment on the spot without so much as attempting to get the other side of the story. I blame television! I now know that was totally wrong. But, in my own defense, I let myself be misled by Hollywood's portrayal of the military justice
  • Boy scout radio jamboree a big hit

    The annual boy scout jamboree on the air was hosted by members of the Satellite Amateur Radio Club from October 18 to 20. This event allows scouts to chat with other scouts in countries around the world, as well as within the United States. In addition to getting on the air, scouts also attended classes to earn the radio merit badge, with 13 scouts
  • The call to lead: Leadership isn't about you - it's about 'us'

    I was at the top of my game - a technical sergeant on the leading edge. I completed a tour as the wing commander's crew chief, traveling to 29 countries and 41 states. I was selected to be an aircraft maintenance instructor, awarded two Instructional Achievement Awards and received a master instructor rating. My technical abilities and leadership
  • Identifying the domestic enemy

    As members of the military, we have all taken an oath of service. For officers it is the Oath of Office and for enlisted personnel it is the Oath of Enlistment. Although the titles are different, there is an identical statement in both that sparked my curiosity one day: "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies,
  • It is never too late

    Recently, I found out one of the 21st Space Wing members that I most admire had decided to return to school in pursuit of a bachelor's degree. This is a man who doesn't need to continue his education - he has already completed one incredible career, retiring as a highly respected chief master sergeant, and he is currently excelling in a second
  • Career knowledge, performance translate to relevance, respect

    I arrived at my first duty station in November 1987 as a trained and motivated KC-135 Stratotanker maintainer. I was an expert...or so I thought. On my first day on the job, I walked toward the expediter truck excited about the drive to the flight-line. I was about to be dropped off near a multi-million dollar flying machine and I knew my crew
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