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Why I Wear the Uniform

Airman 1st Class Shawn Lam, 50th Space Communications Squadron

Airman 1st Class Shawn Lam, 50th Space Communications Squadron

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

If you were to ask me why I joined the Air Force, I would have the same old, general answers.  I would say that I wear the uniform for the education benefits, for a chance to travel the world and to learn a new job.  That’s all true.  Those are the main reasons I joined and it’s what I tell everyone when I’m asked why I joined.  However, now there is a different reason why I wear the uniform.

Before I joined the Air Force, I was struggling on my way towards a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  I was failing classes because I had no motivation.  I was skipping classes because I had no discipline.  My parents would never say it, but I knew what they were thinking.  They told me they were worried about my future, but I knew they were really saying I was a disappointment.  All of my parents’ friends had a son or daughter who was incredibly smart and had a bright future. And here I was, not even sure what I wanted to be when I finished college.

Pride is the reason I wear this uniform.  When I got to basic and put that uniform on for the first time, I felt special.  When my parents came to my graduation, I could see they were proud of me. They finally had something about me to brag about to their friends.  The biggest source of pride comes with the fact that, in just a few short months, my future went from looking questionable and bleak, to knowing exactly what I want to do and accomplish.  The Air Force gave me a sense of ambition.  This is why I wear the uniform.