Why I serve

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Corey Goodfellow
  • 388th Equipment Maintenance Squadron
For the short amount of time I have been in the Air Force I cannot count the number of times that I have been asked the question, "Why did you join the military?" and I am always more than happy to give my reason. The answers to this question are just as diverse as the Air Force itself with different individuals who come from different backgrounds and I am no exception.

As a kid growing up in a small town in Oklahoma I never thought that I would make a huge difference in the world or even stand out in a crowd of people, but that all changed on Feb. 22 when I graduated from basic training. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, standing there on the paradegrounds along with all of my other fellow Airmen in our dress blues reciting the oath of enlistment before the packed stands of friends and family. I knew after that day every time I put on that uniform I would stand out and I would have a chance to make a difference. It wasn't because of the name above the right breast pocket, but the one above the left, United States Air Force.

My answer to the question, "Why do I serve?" is not one of heartfelt sentiment or great inspiration, it is simply for the love of my country and the realization that without the United States military there would be no United States. I joined to make a difference, to help ensure that those whom I love and care about as well as future generations will be able to live in a free country where there is all the opportunity in the world through hard work and dedication to do anything you want to do and be anything you want to be. I just wanted a chance to do my part in preserving this nation and its freedoms which I have all too often taken for granted. I am personally willing to do whatever I can to help prevent another tragedy like Sept. 11 from happening again. We have a saying in Ammo, "Providing the enemy an opportunity to die for his country" at the same time I would be more than willing to die for mine. Every day I put on the uniform I am reminded of the reasons I joined and the sense of pride I get when I look in the mirror. My title, American Airman, is one not everyone has the privilege of claiming. I take great satisfaction in knowing that I am a part of an elite organization of men and women who make sacrifices and put service before self to accomplish the mission set before them.

As members of the Armed Forces we have been tasked with a heavy burden. We all took an oath and we all have an obligation to do what's right and defend our country, while at the same time positively representing our nation. The uniform we wear sets us apart and holds us to a higher standard which we strive to live up to. Whatever the reasons for joining, regardless if you're a member of the Armed Forces for four, six or 20 years, we all have one thing in common -- the country for which we serve.

I for one am proud to be a member of the greatest military in the world.