Streets To Being An Airmen
For U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Davenport the road to Officer Training School started off by living on the streets of Colorado.
Davenport, who is a 647th Civil Engineer Squadron water and fuels systems journeyman, comes from a long lineage of enlisted military following the footsteps of his step-father, cousins, uncles, and grandfather.
However, he will be the first to become an officer.
His mother became pregnant with him in high school and he and his sisters grew up in a low-income family moving in and out of Section-8 housing. His step-dad served in the Army as an infantry soldier while battling PTSD.
“Eventually I decided I was done living like that and at first I wanted to go to school, get my degree, and I wanted to commission,” said Davenport.
He was working full time and put himself through school with the goal to commission straight into the military, but found himself at 21 starting a roofing business in Colorado and living out of his car.
“I couldn't find my footing as a civilian and I was going to bed hungry and sleeping in my car, but I had to count my blessings because I at least had a car and many people slept on the streets,” said Davenport.
While living on the streets he finally made the decision to enlist in the Air Force in July 2017 with the support of his long-time girlfriend, who he married after graduating from Basic Military Training.
“I ended up being the top graduate of BMT and everything just clicked,” said Davenport. “Before I was struggling and falling through the cracks, the Air Force just gave me a fresh start.”
After BMT, the newlyweds earned their associates, bachelors, and are currently working on their masters degrees together.
“My wife has been my rock,” said Davenport. “She has stuck with me through all my hardships, I just want to give her the world.”
Davenport set his eyes on becoming an officer, but was rejected four times while applying to OTS.
“Most people in circumstances similar to Staff Sgt. Davenport would’ve probably thrown in the towel,” said Senior Master Sgt. Julius Lett, 647th CES facility sustainment flight superintendent. “He is the epitome of not letting your past define you and maximizing the opportunities that we are granted from serving in this profession.”
Davenport never gave up on his dream of becoming an officer, after his fifth try, he was selected as an OTS candidate in the U.S. Space Force.
“When I got the call, I was in Advanced Leadership School, I just broke down and started crying,” he said. “Everything, from being homeless to watching my parents struggle, my step-dad battling with PTSD, and I did it, I finally broke the barrier.
‘My daughter can look up at me and say ‘if dad can do it, I can do it too,’ and she can, she can do anything.”