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Protecting America’s Freedom: A Veteran’s Journey

The companionship and support he experiences on a day-to-day basis help him keep on going every day.

The companionship and support he experiences on a day-to-day basis help him keep on going every day.

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1972 is the last active draft within the United States. Fifty is the number given to him for the draft, and 50 are chosen. He travels to a recruitment area in Milwaukee to test his fitness levels. Passing, Dale Elliott begins his 23-years of service.

With persuasion from his father, he decides to serve within the Air Force for at least four years. If he decides he doesn’t like it, he can go back to being a civilian.

“I learned you have to be adaptable.”

Overall, he enjoys it. The companionship and support he experiences on a day-to-day basis help him keep on going every day.

He pays the price,though. He leaves his wife and friends, missing them every single day. Nonetheless, he pushes through the emotional roller coaster and adjusts to his newfound surroundings, just as a bamboo stick does within a storm.

 “You don’t compromise your ethics or your morals, but you have to be a realistic person.You have to understand that things won’t always be set in stone or concrete.”

His first job consists of repairing and troubleshooting the aircrafts at his military base. It was a constant cycle of jobs, working as fast as the speed of light themselves to make sure the aircrafts are ready to fly.

He travels almost as often as the planes do. The locations of his assignments include: Texas, Colorado, Georgia, Utah, California and Delaware. Additionally, he flies to Spain, Egypt, the Philippines, Thailand and Germany.

Meanwhile, he’s slowly climbing the ranks. He works diligently, gaining the respect of his fellow comrades. In the end, it all paid off.

After 23 years, he retires as an E-7 Master Sergeant. Elliott retires with dignity, honor and pride. Pride for his country. Pride for those willing to sacrifice themselves. Pride in himself to be willing enough to protect America’s freedom.

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Protecting America’s Freedom: A Veteran’s Journey