I left home for the first time in my 20 years of living on Jan. 10, 2017, to become an Airman. I saw the Air Force as an opportunity to better myself through professionalism, education and experience. As a first generation Airman I went in blind, but I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way. However, I was not prepared for the emotional rollercoaster I had strapped myself into.
After two flights and a bus ride, I finally arrived at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. As soon as the bus stopped, the doors swung open and a military training instructor ran us off. We made our way into a small room filled with crates overflowing with backpacks, shower shoes, reflective belts and other essential supplies for trainees. Once we were rushed through and loaded up, we were corralled into a giant auditorium filled with what felt like over 1,000 people. The silence in that room was chilling.