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  • Through struggles, to the stars

    June's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride month celebrations are relatively new to the Department of Defense and to the Air Commandos of Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, but the history of LGBT service members' fight to openly serve in the armed forces is a long and proud one. In the very month and year of the United States'
  • Importance of staying connected

    Anytime, Anywhere. To the warriors of Air Force Special Operations Command, these are more than words. They are the foundation upon which a selfless and courageous ethos is built. It is an ethos that has led the men and women of AFSOC to engage in dogged combat for over a decade. For one AFSOC community in particular, this form of warfare has led
  • Optimizing Performance: Learning from elite, world-class athletes

    Elite athletes consistently perform at a higher level than those who are merely average. That seems intrinsically obvious. However, it is not just their ability to win more consistently, elite athletes prepare differently and optimize their performance through a combination of goal setting, visualization, self-talk and arousal control. Those same
  • Saving a C-130: Aircraft 1857

    She wasn't just any C-130. Throughout my 20 years with Aircraft 1857, I was always aware of her vast history. Not only did she fly more than seven years during the Vietnam War, but she also actively participated in Operation Eagle Claw as "Republic 5."This past year was her final operational year. She was due to retire in June to the boneyard at
  • Poisoned by my own hand

    It was 2011, three-and-a-half years into my Air Force career at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. My day started like any other... I woke up to shower and brush my teeth to get ready for work. However, everything changed when I looked into the mirror. Something was wrong: the whites of my eyes were slightly yellow.Little did I know this would be the
  • Father, son journey to Black Beret

    When my children were very small, I took them to an air show featuring the Thunderbirds. This was the first time they were formally introduced to the Air Force.As the Thunderbirds went through precision drills, my eyes filled with tears as my life as an Airman flashed before me. I looked down, and my son looked at me with such reverence and
  • The meaning of being an 'Air Commando'

    "Having Hurlburt Field on a set of orders does not make you an Air Commando -- you have to earn it." I wasn't sure what to make of that phrase when Vincent Milioti, former director of the Combat Aviation Advisor Qualification Course, told me it in October 2009. I was fresh out of technical school and reported here, my first duty station, a few
  • Air Force dad "saving the country every day"

    What makes a military father different from every other father out there? Is it the sacrifice of time spent away from home, the sometimes long hours spent working through exercises and real world conflict? Or is it the unfaltering commitment to freedom for all, combined with the drive and necessity to provide for one's family?A military father is
  • The men I left behind

    I'm one of the thousands of women who have gone to war. I'm neither unique nor exceptional. If you ask around, you'll hear stories similar to mine.In the past, expectations for girls didn't include the possibility of growing up to be veterans. We aren't born warriors. We've been brought up in a way that makes it possible. To me, Women's History
  • True Values

    -- Are certain people drawn to the Air Force because we already possess many of the core values deep down inside of us? As Airmen we constantly hear about our core values; Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence In All We Do. These values are constantly reinforced throughout our Air Force career, but for the first time since I swore to
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