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Airman and Bearcat

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- It's a balancing act between being an Airman and a bearcat. (The bearcat is my university's mascot.)

My Air Force training pushed me harder than I ever expected, and my transformation from citizen to warrior has greatly increased my confidence.

Still, I take life a day at a time. I stride to live by the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.

While in and out of uniform, I aim to serve my family and the community anyway I can.
There are days I find myself struggling to balance being an Airman, a bearcat, and the personal aspects of my life. But neither surrendering nor failure is ever an option in my book. I chose to raise my right hand when enlisting, and I chose to chant, "Once a bearcat, always a bearcat".

Between those two decisions, I have gained two fantastic families that are supportive and helpful in every possible way, they are part of my home here in Missouri.

If it wasn't for my family, friends, bearcat family, and my 139th family, I wouldn't be where I am today challenging myself to exceed the person that I was yesterday.
In my two years of service as of this month, my greatest struggle I have stumbled across is staying ahead of the game.

Just with my luck, drill weekend just happens to fall on the exact weekend right before the dreadful sleepless week of finals of nearly every semester.

If it wasn't for my handy dandy mini calendar notebook, my semesters would be a complete unorganized mission of finding my path through the rugged, tangled jungle.
I have learned to fine tune my time management skill by thinking days and weeks ahead to have an idea of how my semester will play out before the chaos of classes kick in.

Staying positive can be a challenge, but it is one of the key elements to being able to continue pushing forward to the ultimate goal of surviving the life of being a Bearcat Airman.

I remind myself on the daily basis that anything is possible when the right amount of effort and determination is put into it. I made the choice to commit to this journey, and I don't feel an ounce of regret whatsoever.

About the author: Airman 1st Class Fern Knorr is an administrative assistant at the 139ht Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard