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Isabelle Warwicke
05-02-2011, 02:16 PM
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anais Nin

On April 20, 2011, I said an Oath of Enlistment for the United Stated Air Force Reserve. I am posting the announcement letter that I sent to a close circle of family and friends as a way of sharing the process that brought me to this moment in my life. I have finally found a path that I am proud to walk and have no second thoughts about. I do not have a ship date yet, but I should leave for Basic after August 15 but before Thanksgiving. I will be gone for somewhere around 6 months. When I come back, I will be a member of USAF Security Forces. Defensor Fortis! As a Reservist, I will report for one weekend a month and 2 weeks of active duty annually. I may get called for active service, we will wait and see. I will still be around, but if I disappear for a little while, you will all know why.

Following is my announcement letter:

I have decided to rip and re-sew my life. I came to a realization that my life lacked something that I wasn’t able to define. I felt unfulfilled in a way that I didn’t understand. Several of you know the hard events of the last few months and I will not delve too deeply into them as they have little bearing on this in moving forward save that they set me on this path.

Recently I was told that I lacked a “certain factor.” Please understand that I did not take that opinion to heart, but was wounded by it. I am a woman of amazing capacity, proud and strong, honest and unafraid but lately I have felt mediocre for many reasons. This most recent blow was the final one I was going to ever accept from anyone. My career, my life, my relationships, my choices all seem to fall short of my expectations. I felt like I needed something, anything that would fill the empty space that I was facing.

I have decided to take my life in a wholly new direction, void of the confines of any relationship or demands of another person. On my own, entirely, I made this decision, perhaps with a little support from the ghosts of my history.

I do not know where to begin the story, because there are so many beginnings in it. There are also so many endings. I will start and end where I always do, with Family. February 25th is the anniversary of my Grandfather’s death. This year, it was also the date that I was made to say another heart-rending goodbye, one that left an indelible mark. Grieving, I ran home to my Family. I spent the evening cuddling my nephew and drinking wine with my beautiful sister in law, the members of my family gathered around me. The next morning, I spent a 4 hour breakfast reconnecting with an old girlfriend who had been my advocate and was now, on the other side, an amazing source of perspective. It was shortly after that I visited Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, where my Grandfather is buried as a Veteran. I stood at his grave for more than an hour. I broke down. I asked his spirit for help. I asked for a sign. There is a carillon on the site. It goes off every hour. At 2 o’clock, it began to chime. I recognized the song. It had weight and meaning in it. It was playing for me, my sign. I felt his presence with me. I felt my Grandfather at my side and I knew that whatever path I chose to walk, he would walk with me. My Grandfather served as an Airman. Standing at his grave, I wrapped my heart in iron and I made the choice to follow him.

I did my research. I contacted family and friends who have served and are serving; I contacted family members and friends that I trusted to guide me and keep my confidence while I navigated through my choices. I shared my thoughts with the people of my inner circle. Above all, I focused on myself, the absence I felt in my life and sought honest insight from within. I looked long and hard in an unwavering mirror. I fully committed myself to enlisting in the United States Air Force Reserve. On Tuesday March 8, I sat down in the office of an Air Force Reserve Recruiter. On March 10, I made my decision known to my Director and General Manager at Olive Garden. On April 5, I took the ASVAB at the Chicago Military Enlistment Processing Station. I scored very well. The following day, I completed my physical and applied for Security Clearance. This past week, I was offered a job with Security Forces, stationed out of Minneapolis IAP

On April 20, 2011, I stood in front of our Country’s Flag and made Oath to defend it with everything that I have.

I am standing, unafraid and strong, ready to take the next step forward and looking forward to every step after that. And when I reach the top, I will fly.

Much Love.

KissMeKate
05-02-2011, 07:32 PM
Congratulations on finding your path. You have my support and blessings. Take care, learn well, and be safe. I hope to see you at Bristol this season before you leave for Basic.

SHpepperKat
05-02-2011, 09:08 PM
I came here with all these things I wanted to say, but the only one that really matters is : Thank You.

Lady Hefron
05-02-2011, 09:41 PM
Congratulations on finding your way. Be safe and Thank You.

Phoenix McHeit
05-03-2011, 08:42 AM
Wow, that was a beautiful letter. I'm so very proud to call you Sister.

Fly High, dear. :aok: +1

Seodora Dragonfly
05-03-2011, 10:38 AM
Thank you............... ==j==

Rowen
05-03-2011, 06:22 PM
As a retired Air force NCO (Reconnaissance Aircraft Ground Crew) and a vet, I am pleased that the force I served for 24 years has once again called another one of the best into the fold. Welcome!
I joined the service for many of the same reasons you did, and never regretted it. It was a huge learning and growing experience, and I know you will make us all proud to call you a fellow Airman, as we were proud to call your Grandfather before you.
Be strong, fly high and never look back. This is your time to proudly carry the standard for those who came before and to set an example for those who will serve after you; make the most of it.
See you out there!

"Aim High-Fly, Fight, Win!"