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Why I Wear the Uniform

Airman 1st Class Leslie Lindsay won the “Why I Wear the Uniform” essay writing competition for the Schriever Air Force Base First Term Airman’s Course, Aug. 6, 2020, at Schriever AFB, Colorado. Every Airman in the course is required to submit an essay. The winning Airman will then read the article in front of the Peterson-Schriever Garrison command chief as well as their classmates. If the command chief likes the essay, a coin is presented to the Airman who wrote it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely)

Airman 1st Class Leslie Lindsay won the “Why I Wear the Uniform” essay writing competition for the Schriever Air Force Base First Term Airman’s Course, Aug. 6, 2020, at Schriever AFB, Colorado. Every Airman in the course is required to submit an essay. The winning Airman will then read the article in front of the Peterson-Schriever Garrison command chief as well as their classmates. If the command chief likes the essay, a coin is presented to the Airman who wrote it. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Many could say I have been fortunate and successful in my life thus far; college graduate, student athlete, professional dancer, humanitarian, nutritionist, trainer, world traveler and all-around go-getter. But I am so much more than my accomplishments. I am the daughter of a factory worker, the sister of a coal miner, the aunt to a baseball player, horse rider and another 10 sticky fingers full of adventure and giggles. So, why now, at 27 years old, with many achievements and life experiences, did I sign the dotted line and put on the uniform? It’s quite simple actually; I do it for her.

  

I get up every single morning and put on this uniform to show that you can be brave, independent, self-sufficient and have a voice as a female in a male-dominated career field. I do it for my 9-year-old sponsor child in Kenya, because it is possible to get an education as a woman growing up in a poverty-stricken environment. I do it to show my niece the importance of hard work. I wear my stripes to show mothers you can balance a family and a career. I lace my boots up for the middle school girl lacing up her cleats before practice, striving to play in the NFL. I wear my beret for the younger sister who is wearing a dress while playing outside trying to keep up with her brothers. I put on my name tapes to identify myself as more than the pretty face. I wear the uniform for every female who has a dream, who has failed, prevailed and refuses to quit. I show up and do the best I can at my job for Esther McGowin Blake, the first female who enlisted in the Air Force. I strive for leadership so every mother, aunt, sister, niece, friend and teammate can look in the mirror and truly achieve being more than herself. Although I, Airman 1st Class Leslie Lindsay, am the one who ultimately wears my uniform every day, I do it for her. 

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