For Kersten Weber the military hasn’t always played a big part in her life. “I didn’t grow up in a military family. I recall one of my uncles served at some point. To be honest, we were not big proponents of the military because of concerns over war,” she admits. Kersten was completely surprised when Austin, the eldest of her seven children, decided to join the Army’s National Guard his freshman year at the University of Arizona. “Off he went to boot camp. I thought, oh my straight arrow. He will never survive the drill sergeants,” she recalled.
But he would survive and even thrive, graduating and eventually earning an officer’s rank. “We all attended his graduation. I was so proud to see him walk across that stage,” she said. Through the Army National Guard program, Austin has been able to pursue his dream job. He currently works for the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller. Air traffic controllers safely guide the flow of airplanes in and out of air space. It’s a high pressure job, one that requires significant technical skill and a great deal of responsibility. Kersten believes the military has helped him to hone his skills. “The Army has taught him structure, responsibility, confidence and leadership,” she remarked. It’s also taught Kersten and their family a thing or two as well. “It’s been remarkable to meet all these people who have a familial history of service to our Country,” she said.
Even more important, Kersten has seen the positive impact it has had on her children. “To see him do so well, it’s been great for all of my kids to see that. They really look up to him, “she remarked.
November is Military Family Appreciation Month and we asked you to submit stories about your experience with the military. Thank you to all that shared their stories and for the brave contributions and sacrifices that were made during the time that was served!