As I lay in my bed, motionless and unnoticed, I contemplate my life. What have I accomplished and whose lives have I impacted? My life seems as insignificant as those to my left and right, but was there deeper meaning?
I was born in 1990, but I don't really concern myself with my birth. I hardly remember anything before five years of age anyway. I suppose that my story begins with a simple paper airplane. At the time I didn't know that a piece of paper would set every goal that I would have for the rest of my life.
I have always been fascinated with flight. My father shared with me his paper airplane making. We set competitions to see who could create airplanes that could go faster, do more flips, or fly the longest. From that point on I couldn't get flying out of my mind. As I got older and entered high school I began setting my goals so that I could have the best chance of becoming a pilot. My first experience with the Air Force was in my sophomore year. I joined the JROTC and became very active in it. I graduated high school with a scholarship from the Air Force which would allow me to attend Auburn University in pursuit of my pilot slot. I then graduated at the top of my class with a degree in industrial engineering and was commissioned into the Air Force in the spring of 2013. I was accepted to pilot training and sent to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. There I began my year long training in the F-22 Raptor. I was still very young yet I was focused. I graduated and began my tour of duty.
My first experience with war occurred not to long after training. The situation in the Middle East remained at high tension. War for me was a little different from the experience that a soldier on the ground has. I wasn't face to face with the enemy. I simply watched a screen in front of me and when I passed over my target I pressed a button, but the act of pressing that button changed me. Just knowing that my action took someone's life was enough for me....