WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --
For many people, deciding to enlist in the military is one of the biggest decisions of their lives. But for two Airmen of the 445th, it was life changing for an entire family.
Senior Airman Amanda Guzman, personnel systems management assistant, 445th Force Support Squadron and her son Senior Airman Stanley Fairchild III, loadmaster, 89th Airlift Squadron made the decision together.
When Guzman took Fairchild to the recruiter’s office in February of 2019, the two had no idea what adventure lay in store for them. After hearing all of the benefits available to her son in the Air Force Reserve, Guzman started to wonder if she could join the service herself.
Guzman had a successful career and family but had always wanted to have the honor of serving her country. After much deliberation, the two recruits decided they would jump in and do it together. They went to the Military Entrance Processing Center together, took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam together, out-processed together and went to the airport together.
The mother and son departed for Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas Aug. 27, 2019.
To their surprise, upon arrival to basic military training, the two were placed in brother/sister flights which allowed them the opportunity to stay in contact throughout BMT. The two flights, exercised together and the mother son tandem team could check in with each other during the morning runs.
“It was a just a really good experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” said Guzman. She added that it gave her reassurance to be able to know they were going through the experience together and sometimes added to the stress if her son was not in class when she expected him to be.
“The best part was being able to see each other progress through training and see each other become better and better at tasks,” said Fairchild, “it motivated me to work harder.”
Guzman agreed and explained that having her son there with her meant failure was not an option because she wanted to show him that if she could do it, so could he.
The 37 year-old mother and 19 year-old son graduated from BMT Oct. 25, 2019. Both feel the experience brought them closer together. “Having the shared experience made it unforgettable,” said Guzman.
“Being able to hug my mom at the end, at graduation, without getting in trouble, was the best part,” said Fairchild.
Both Airmen kept their relationship a secret from the military training instructors until the very end, though many of their fellow trainees were in on it. “When the instructors found out, they were shocked,” said Guzman. “I think they were mostly surprised that they had not caught on to it sooner.”