Proud to call my son an Airman, myself a recruiter

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Carmelo Vega
  • 333rd Recruiting Squadron
Last week I had the great privilege of attending my son's basic military training graduation. I know that I am not the only Air Force member who has a son or daughter already in the service, but I want to share my recent experience. 

During my 17-year career I've had many successes and great experiences, but none come even close to seeing my son graduate BMT. This was a twofold experience for me since not only am I a parent, but I am also an Air Force recruiter. This visit helped drive home just how important our recruiting mission is.

I arrived Wednesday and the agenda called for family members to attend an Airman's run the next morning. At first I didn't see the point of waking up to watch them all run, but, despite my reservations, I decided to go and I'm glad I did. It truly is something not to be missed.

As I lined up behind the reception center at 8:45 a.m., I looked around and saw some 3,000 family members lined up to cheer their Airmen. As the training instructor greeted everyone and requested a few "Go Air Force" cheers, the trainees stretched for the run on the other side of the connecting bridge, just out of sight.

During this time, I observed the looks of elation on the faces of the many family members and realized that I was not only the father of a graduating Airman but also a big part of those joyful expressions because of what I do as a recruiter.

Not long after, the Airmen became visible over the bridge. As they approached, the sound of their cadence got louder and louder until it thundered around us. By this time, most of the crowd, including me, was filled with happy tears and shouts of joy.

Later that day, as I sat on the bleachers attending the retreat ceremony, I over heard parents talking about how proud and amazed they were at the positive transformations of their sons and daughters during the six weeks of training.

I am proud to have my son serving alongside me in our great Air Force, but equally as proud that I am an Air Force Recruiter. The quality of people the Air Force brings in is amazing and so many people's lives are changed for the better because they choose to serve their country. If you have any doubts about that, I encourage you to take a trip to Lackland and see for yourself.