A job or a calling - you decide

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Torrance Martin
  • 11th Security Forces Squadron
For some of us, in the beginning we may not know. Let's face it, we join the military for many different reasons. Education, travel, or just to get out on our own are all valid reasons.

But, why a person enters military service is not as important as why one makes the military a career. I signed up for the delayed entry program before I even got out of high school. I saw my parents and other higher ranking military members at Warner Robins, Ga., and I seriously thought I would become rich overnight - being in the military. I thought I could go out and buy a Mustang GT and all would be right with the world.

Even though I never did get the Mustang, for more than 17 years I have been answering this nation's call. That call is to serve my fellow Airmen and the people of the United States of America. How do you tell if this is a calling or a job for you? Well, there are several ways to do this. The easiest way I can think of to explain this was told in a joke I heard once. Simply put, if you look at your watch and you say "It's only lunchtime!" then you have a job, but if you look at your watch and say, "Where did my day go? It's already time to go home?" then you, my friends, have a calling. 

When you are just working a job, your day seems to just drag. But, when you are working on what you are called to do, sometimes you lose all sense of time because you are so intent and focused on the completion of whatever task you may have, no matter how big or small.

Airmen are serving in around the world carrying out our Global War on Terrorism. I am sure we all have a different interpretation of what the final line of the Air Force Creed means but let me give you mine. What it means to me is that we can never give up. We can never give up on anything we do, no matter how big or small the task.

Recently, I played in a golf tournament with people from all over the United States as well as from a few other countries. As the day went on, we talked about everything from politics, to finance and religion, but the one thing everyone wanted to know about was what life was like for an Air Force Airman.

It was very humbling to know that with current events, Airmen make an impact, even off-duty, by sharing time with members of our local communities. We must take the role of ambassadors-in-blue seriously.

One of my goals as I spoke with my fellow golfers was for them to understand that to serve in the Air Force is not just a job, it is truly a calling.

I also wanted them to know that even in traumatic and uncertain times, Airmen will follow the closing words of our creed in whatever situation we are faced with - "We will not falter and we will not fail."

I also took the time to thank them for their support. You see, it's easy to have someone support you once they understand you are not just doing a job, you are answering your calling.

When was the last time we said thank you to someone who was not service related? We all get told, "Thank you for your service," from local civilians at one time or another. But, when was the last time we said, "Thank you for your support." I would challenge us as Air Force members to thank those who are there to support us.

In today's world, understanding if this is a job or a calling is very important. Equally important though, the American public deserves to know they can trust the Air Force.