Rank and Name: Staff Sgt. Sarah V. Allen
Month/Year you joined 184 IW: October 2015
Recent achievements: 184th Wing Airman of the Year and 184th Wing Honor Guard Member of the Year.
My story: Growing up, joining the military was one of the first goals I remember setting when I was 12 years old. In school, I ran long-distance and enjoyed mental/physical challenges. I hoped to enlist after high school. Turned out, life had different plans for me—an ACL reconstruction at 18 years old. A few years later I happened to mention to a friend that I was still interested in serving but was looking for a unit that was organized and competent. He recommended I talk to the 184th recruiting team and I was blown away with that first impression. Out of all the recruiters I had spoken to from every single branch, the 184th was the unit I was looking for.
In my career so far I’ve had the usual obstacles a newer airman would have, such as acclimating to the military lifestyle and learning how to maneuver various benefits including state/federal tuition assistance and Tricare. Additionally, my wife and I are mil-mil, which has been our most prominent challenge. She’s active duty and we spent several years dealing with intermittent separation. I put around 80,000 miles on my car in three years driving between our bases. Thankfully, she PSC’d here a few months ago and that separation has halted for the time being.
If there is one thing I’ve learned so far it’s to set attainable but flexible goals. I graduate from college in May and have my preferred master’s program selected. I’m in flight school obtaining my private license, which I hope to build on either in the Air Force or civilian sector. I love wearing this uniform and intend to spend 20+ years in the Air Force, and will try to commission if that is my path. The family I’ve found with my work crews and Honor Guard have changed my life for the better, and I hope to give back even a fraction of the dedication and support they have given me. That is my single biggest goal: leave my unit/community better than I found it. Regardless of where my wife and I end up or what happens, I know our Air Force family will be there for the highs and the lows, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what life has in store.