Being reservist charges my battery

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFRC) -- I’ve never left after a unit training assembly without learning something. Those two days a month that I spend at Peterson Air Force Base may seem insignificant to some on the outside, but I know they aren’t. 

As reservists, most of us really do work for most of the month leading up to our drill weekend. If we handle extra duties there’s definitely planning and preparation prior to and then residual details to handle after the weekend is over. Not to mention, since we are only there for a two days, it’s as if a month’s work is compressed into that little weekend. 

I know we work hard and we spend a lot of time preparing to be deployable. We spend a lot of that weekend getting mission ready, and that’s not easy to do in such a short amount of time. Sometimes the extra demands of this life, in addition to my civilian job, can get overwhelming, but by the time I leave my weekend and head back to Denver, I feel as if I’ve recharged my battery. 

I always come home with a renewed sense of spirit. Whether I learned something new through my training, mentoring from an officer, or observing a fellow airman, I become a better civilian. When I hear stories on the news about politics and military affairs, I now have a vested interest. I am the “go-to” person with my friends when they have a question about the war. I may not be an expert, but I have a perspective now that I didn’t have before joining the Air Force. 

I know that I am a part of something special. My father grew up in communist Bulgaria and tells me stories about getting thrown in jail just for speaking his opinion. He longed to come to America and give his family the freedoms he didn’t have growing up. The United States of America is an incredible country; there is no denying that! 

As I drive off base every month after my UTA, I know that I play a small role in defending our country - and that is the greatest feeling in the world.