Featured Nominee & Team Member
Airman Kimber Reese
Disabled Veteran | 2 years in the U.S. Air Force Space Command
Why did you join the Military?
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents at their house. My grandmother had the most beautiful photo of her in her Army uniform: it was old from age, but the image of her was soft yet brilliant and strong. My grandfather used to regale us children with stories of him serving as a musician and man of the cloth in the Army (which is where he met my grandmother). Their stories, along with that photo of Miss Christine Rodgers made me want to fill their shoes. Two years prior to my senior year in high school, my eldest brother signed up for the Marines. He looked smart and assured in his photo. So, by the time I got to high school, I think I was calling the military before the recruiters actually showed up. I even took a semester of Army JROTC and absolutely LOVED the discipline and camaraderie. I was going all out for the Marines. But then my ASVAB results came in – I had aced it all – and the Air Force just appeared one day out of the ethos and the Marine recruiter must have gotten lost in another dimension; never saw him again. LOL!
What did you learn from the Military?
As for the biggest lesson I learned while serving, I would say that there are no excuses. You do the job and are recognized for success; you mess up and take accountability, relearn, and keep going because the world is not going to throw you a pity party. Life cannot go on hold so we can feel better. We have to find our stride in the midst of our trials. But as a wonderful side effect of this, I learned more about myself and what I am capable of when I go outside of my personal comfort. This lesson sticks with me today. I don’t make excuses: I will give facts, find the work around, then keep moving forward. My time in service definitely made me a better person because of this ability to find a way.