By Tech. Sgt. Stacy Foster
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Erin Wetmore has been an Air Force spouse for a year and a half. In that short time, she has learned that military life can be like an amusement park.
Mrs. Wetmore, wife of 1st Lt. Ross Wetmore, 50th Operations Support Squadron, learned in a surprise announcement that she had won the Year of the Air Force Family “My Air Force Life” short story contest Feb. 24.
Lieutenant and Mrs. Wetmore attended the weekly Schriever update meeting under the guise that her husband would be giving a briefing about the recent Air Force Ball. When Col. Kenneth Allison, 50th Space Wing vice commander, decided to share a recent story he’d read, she began to realize the real reason for her presence.
“I thought I was there to support my husband,” Mrs. Wetmore said. “As Colonel Allison read the title of the story I thought, ‘I know that title’.”
Colonel Allison then introduced Mrs. Wetmore as the winner of the short story contest as leadership from across the installation and around the world, via video teleconference, applauded her effort.
“I was in shock,” Mrs. Wetmore said. “To be recognized in front of so many important people was amazing,”
Colonel Allison said the article captured what it meant to be a newcomer to the Air Force.
“Your story reminds us that this life is full of ups and downs and how important it is to have the support of each other,” he said. “Congratulations on this well deserved award.”
Mrs. Wetmore’s story was selected from 336 other submission in the contest, which ran from Dec. 20, 2009 to Feb. 14, 2010.
“I learned about the contest in Schriever’s weekly newsletter,” she said. “From there, I just began thinking about what it meant to be an Air Force spouse.”
The elementary school teacher said it took her a few days to gather her thoughts into the form of the story.
“I just wanted to get my story out there,” she said. “I did it to hopefully share my experience with other Air Force wives who might be able to relate.”
Below is Mrs. Wetmore’s winning short story:
Uncle Sam’s Wild Ride:
An Attraction Worth Living
By Erin Wetmore
Can you recall your first visit to an amusement park? The moment you scurry past those park gates, the rides seem to beckon and the possibilities and adventures are endless! As you anxiously wait to board that first ride, you cannot help but wonder what it is going to be like. Will it be frightening?
Thrilling? Liberating? Emotions are greatly heightened but one thing is often true. The attraction has been (and will continue to be) ridden by many, and everyone will take something different from their experiences on it.
Being a United States Air Force wife is an incredibly unique and special title to hold. After my husband and I married, we packed my belongings into the moving truck and, instantly, the journey began. There were countless unknowns and I was entering into unfamiliar territory. However, I did know very well that I was now the greatest source of support that my husband would ever have and that I had the chance to view this as one of the most positive experiences of my life. As a military family, we have learned that it is important to seize the opportunities that have been presented to us in the here and now. We find our happiness in the people, places, and the small things that are around us, and we give thanks for them daily. We anticipate change and face it with optimism.
An Air Force journey can be much like a first visit to an amusement park. I am an Air Force wife experiencing a ride with ups and downs and several twists and turns. However, you don’t truly realize how wonderful and exceptional a ride like that is until you are already strapped in and on it. It is a ride that can never quite be found anywhere else.
For more information on Air Force family programs and upcoming competitions, log on to www.myairforcelife.com.