My mother was a veteran of the United States Air Force. That is where she met my father who also served. I remember learning this fact as a child. My first thought was, “wait, what do you mean she was in the Air Force, she’s my mom.” A stay at home mom for my whole life, I guess I thought that is what she had always done. The next thought was how cool that made her. My parents had the strong work ethic and desire to help others that led them both to serve. I watched my brother join the Marines, and was never more proud of him. Two years later, with the same desire to help others and to be part of something bigger, I joined the Air Force as my parents had. It was ten years ago today that I arrived at basic military training. Each day was a struggle, but more powerful than the physical exhaustion and pain was the immense sense of connection I felt. To be doing push ups and practicing drills where my parents had felt sacred. We are a family of veterans, we all have an understanding of what that life is like. Each time I place my hand on my heart for the National Anthem I feel honored to be part of that tradition, and I feel closer to my family. We are not only connected in blood, but also in service.