I always say I have been in the Air Force for 50 years. I have been a dependent daughter, spouse, active duty and I am currently a participating Air Force Reservist. I was active duty from 1983 to 1992, and I have been a member of the Air Force Reserves since 1995.

In 1983, my first assignment was at David Mothan AFB, AZ in the CE Squadron as one of two female supply troops. I volunteered to PSC to Incirlik, Turkey and was there from 1985 to 1988 with the 39th Supply Squadron. I remember one of our Base Commanders said that it was the Air Force’s best kept secret at that time. It was here that I learned the hard way on how to become an Airman and NCO through the guidance of my Commander, First Sergeant and supervisor. They took me from an unruly Airman to a committed and capable NCO. They also taught me to never say “I am just an Airman.” I wish I could thank them for their patience and knowledge. After I left the supply career field 1992 I took two year off and then joined the Air Force Reserves and crossed trained into the medical administration career field. During the part of my career I have had the opportunity to do several special tours to Sheppard AFB, TX to work at the Medical Field Training Site. It was during this time that I learned never to say “I am just a Reservist.” I deployed twice since 9/11, once to Stuttgart, Germany at the beginning of the Iraq War and then to Andrews AFB. This is where I started to learn about the VA and I have watched the system and programs change. Now I am home in Nebraska working at the 55th Medical Group, Ehrling Bergquist Hospital processing MEBs as a civilian.

In my 27 years I have seen the military change and grow, I have learned that friendships can survive and the ones we make are extra special. I learned that this is my time to start giving back to those who came before and prepare the way for those who will come after. My son-in-law is active duty and had deployed numerous times, what we are doing now will make his career transitions easier.

Lucia Wilson is currently an E7 in the Air Force Reserves and works as a civilian contractor at the 55th MDG Offutt AFB, NE.

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Published on Nov. 14, 2011

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