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Why I Wear the Uniform

Why I Wear the Uniform: Airman 1st Class Mason Montano, 50th Space Communications Squadron (U.S. Air Force graphic by Heather S. Marsh)

Why I Wear the Uniform: Airman 1st Class Mason Montano, 50th Space Communications Squadron (U.S. Air Force graphic by Heather S. Marsh)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Putting on my uniform in the morning is not a chore and it will never be. Wearing the uniform of the United States Air Force, whatever it may be at any point in time, will always be a privilege. The uniform isn’t just an outfit, it’s a symbol of freedom, sacrifice, heritage and hope for the future. Being part of the Air Force instills a sense of pride many have felt through serving, and yet a feeling many people have not, nor will ever experience. In my short time of donning the uniform I’ve learned what it really means to be part of something bigger than myself.

In middle school and high school I rarely involved myself in extracurricular activities. I didn’t think I was cut out for any one particular group; I especially never foresaw being a part of the United States Armed Forces. When I realized I had no secure path in front of me, I started to understand the military wasn’t just some exclusive club. I envisioned myself being that service member I looked up to for sacrificing so much for our country and for their own families. I made the choice I wanted a better life for myself, my fiancée and for the family I want to start. I became set on bettering myself through the military, while also doing my part to serve my nation and the people who make it so great.

Flash-forward nearly a year and into the present. I look up to more officers, non-commissioned officers and Airmen than I can track. Even if I can’t do everything right or follow directly in their footsteps, I still share one distinctly visible thing with them. We all wear U.S. Air Force proudly across our hearts. My uniform is my connection to the past heroes I admire, and it is my connection to my dreams and goals to better the Air Force, my teammates and myself. I put on the uniform because I’m a proud member of the Air Force and I intend to uphold our image and contribute to our mission for years to come.