From Military Child To Military Member
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Hanah Abercrombie
My parents are superheroes.
They may not be cape-wearing,
city-saving, wall-crushing crusaders, but to me, my sister and many
of the people they have helped, they are superheroes.
all over the world, fixing problems, inspiring those around them,
sometimes leaving to save the world one day at a time, and
occasionally being gone for weeks depending on the mission at hand.
On top of fixing problems, my parents are mentors, friends and
Wingmen. While saving the world, it’s their mission to make a
positive impact on all of those they come across and lead from the
My parents have a hard and important job. They are
C-17 Globemaster III integrated flight control system specialists.
They work hard to keep aircraft flying safely and tackle any
problems that may arise. Along with that, they help the people
around them to ensure both the aircraft and their peers are ready
for the mission.
Sometimes people tell me my parents are
great, inspiring. They tell me how my parents saved them in rough
times and made sacrifices for them when not a lot of people would.
Even with all these great anecdotes and words of awe,
growing up with two superhero parents wasn’t always easy.
While I loved seeing them make a spectacular difference in people’s
lives, it limited the amount of time we were able to spend together
as a family. My parents didn’t just work office hours; they worked
when people needed them.
March 17, 2006 - Staff Sgt. Ivy Abercrombie, 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and her daughter Hanah Abercrombie pose for a photo at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. Hanah joined the Air Force and graduated basic training December 2017, following in her parent's footsteps. (Courtesy photo
by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Hanah Abercrombie)
Sometimes it seemed as if there was always something
happening that was more important than family time. That there was
always a mission to be done or a person needing help. From temporary
duty assignments to helping friends move, it seemed like my parents
were always on it.
Although it seemed
exhausting, repetitive and even sometimes annoying, I was proud of
my parents for always stepping up and helping.
senior year of high school, I decided to follow in my parent’s
footsteps and enlist in the U.S. Air Force. It wasn’t a hard choice
because, although I knew a lot in my life would change, growing up
in a military family and understanding the lifestyle gave me
While preparing for basic military training, my dad
set me up for success. We worked out regularly, and he encouraged
and inspired me to strive to be my personal best. When there was a
workout I couldn’t do, he helped me create a plan to build up
strength until I was able to complete it.
“Failure is not an
option.” This is something he’d frequently say to me when my arms
were shaking, and I was struggling to finish my last pushup. Or when
I wanted to quit running, and just call it a day. That little phrase
reminded me that if I was determined to do something, I could do it.
Keeping that mindset throughout my time at basic training led me
Although my dad helped me a lot with physical
training and getting into the military mindset, my mom played a huge
role in preparing me as well. She taught me about dealing with
stresses that will come my way and how to take failures as lessons,
to keep moving, and to not let them weigh me down.
graduated basic training as an honor graduate in December 2017 and
graduated technical school in May 2018.
December 2017 - Retired Master Sgt. Aaron Abercrombie, 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production expediter, Airman 1st Class Hanah Abercrombie, 30th Space Wing photojournalist, and Master Sgt. Ivy Abercrombie, 315th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant first sergeant, pose for a photo after Hanah’s basic training graduation ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio Lackaland, Texas. Hanah joined the Air Force, following in the footsteps of her parents, with hopes to positively impact those around her.
(Courtesy photo by U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Hanah
Now as an active
duty service member, I often reflect on my younger years as a
military child. I am inspired by the example my parents set for me
when I was younger and still continue to set.
I often ask
myself, “Am I being a positive light for those around me? Would my
parents be proud of the way I am representing myself? Am I being a
When I need help or not sure about something, I
have two superheroes that are just one phone call away. Their
example and advice have proven to be been the most valuable tools in
my toolbox, helping me on my journey to being a superhero, too.
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