Airmen are the real story

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Keavy Rake
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Servicemembers serve our nation for a multitude of reasons. The military offers benefits unmatched by other employers. Monetary, medical, or education- the simple fact is these benefits drive service most of the time.

I was recently honored to reenlist an Airman from Seymour Johnson. When asked, I jumped at the chance. As an officer beginning my career I have not encountered many opportunities like this and I appreciate the burden that goes into the decision to reenlist.

This particular Airman very easily could have walked away from the Air Force and coincidentally an upcoming deployment. There was no selective reenlistment bonus for his career field this cycle and he still chose to raise his right hand swearing to support and defend the constitution of the United States.

Every day Airmen make small sacrifices to keep our Air Force running. Blood, sweat and tears pour into long hours of preserving combat sorties and maintaining the world's greatest Air Force. Servicemembers have a choice to pack their bags and move back home or pack their bags to deploy. Overwhelmingly, they are choosing to deploy.

Dedicated Airmen drove my decision to serve. Leading such devoted and enthusiastic Airmen is an honor and a privilege. Each day I can button four olive drab green buttons with my head held higher.

My job as a public affairs officer is to highlight Airmen's lives, jobs and be a liaison between them, the command and the outside world. I chose this job because I am very passionate about relaying real stories to the world, telling what we are about and why we serve.

Death, injury and damage make headlines. My job is to convince the world to look outward beyond the obvious hard-breaking news stories and see our servicemembers for the people they are- as the fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, and community members.

As Airmen during war time we are making history. Everyday opportunities, seemingly insignificant, truly tell our story. Our history should not simply be about crashed jets and lost lives. That story is inaccurate. We work diligently every day to ensure the safety of
Airmen and assets and to keep those stories from being written.

The true story, the real history, is in every Airman, every day.