A: I was on active duty in the Air Force from 1989 to 1995 with my first duty assignment in Wiesbaden, Germany, working with Long Roll Aerial Reconnaissance. I immediately signed up for a German language class but the Gulf War kicked off and my work hours increased and was not able to complete the class. I did learn enough to order a beer though. I was then transferred to R.A.F. Alconbury for two years with my final assignment at Vandenberg A.F.B, California before switching to the Navy Reserve where I stayed to complete my military career in 2009.
A: I was an imagery production specialist in the Air Force. In the Navy, I worked as an aircrew photographer and with public affairs. I became a set photographer in 2008. I still shoot some of the VFT (Veterans in Film and Television) meetings, and I even worked on Easterseals' previous military PSA with Kyle Stokes, who co-founded VFT.
A: In the military, I had to be very self-motivated. For instance, for my flight crew training, I had to complete a certain amount of flight time in 18 months, and it was all up to me to make that happen. I finished it in 12 months. In the film industry, I have to hustle just the same to get things done for myself. I need to be self-motivated to find my next job. I need to always be willing to learn, grow and get better at my career.
When I get a call for a photography job, I get the call and go. I show up. In the military and in civilian life, my jobs have been fast-paced.
A: Oh yes. When I transferred into the Reserves and into civilian life, it was a huge transition. When you’re in the military, your living accommodations and food are all taken care of, and you have a uniform so you don’t have to think about what to wear as much. When I returned to civilian life, I had no plan and needed to start looking for a job right away. I remember trying to figure out what to wear to my first job interview. It wasn’t easy!
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