A look back, ahead

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Amanda Callahan
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing public affairs
I recently had the honor of participating in the retirement of two master sergeants who, after already vowing to spend their lives together, celebrated their service together. Their personal stories were about honor, integrity and living our Air Force’s core values. They were stories about shoes left behind for new generations of the Air Force to fill. 

As we learn to fill the footsteps left by the masters, seniors and chiefs before us, we also learn how to be strong in tough times, how to stand up for what is right and how to believe in ourselves, our subordinates and our leaders. 

I believe that we have been brought up by some of the best and the worst, and we have learned from them all. The bad supervisor that didn’t care has made us the supervisors that try harder. 

For me, though, the one that taught me the most will be coming up on his own retirement soon, and his will likely be very similar to the two master sergeants I mentioned. I only wish I could be there. He mentored me through my “awkward” Airman phase. He convinced me that just because I always said I was getting out, it didn’t mean I necessarily would (Thank you, Sergeant Duncan, for talking me into that CJR). I find myself having those same conversations today. 

We are all creating footsteps. I only hope that I can fill the ones of those before me and leave some good ones for those who come after me. Twenty years is a long time to serve your country, but after talking to some of those retirees, I realize that it flies by, and there is nothing better than protecting the nation we all love.