By Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
(Editor’s Note: “I am SCHRIEVER” is a diversity campaign dedicated to recognizing the diversity within our base as well as highlighting the way this diversity makes us stronger and better able to ensure mission success.)
When 2nd Lt. John Canaan, 1st Space Operations Squadron mission planning officer, made the decision to serve his country in 2014, he quickly realized his wife and his children serve too.
“We already had everything established — our family, our whole life — and I had decided to do a job change,” said Canaan. “It changed everything, we moved, and that’s how it all started.”
Within a month of applying for U.S. Air Force Officer Training School with the U.S. Air Force, Canaan was notified he was selected.
The Canaans sold their home. As John left for Alabama, his son, Andrew and wife, Janell, moved in with relatives.
“We talked to him at the time, explaining that daddy’s going to do a new job and we’re going to have to move and we’re going to have to leave our friends and family behind,” said Canaan. “That was hard for him to understand, but he’s taken it in stride and he’s done really, really well — which has surprised me.”
Andrew remembers pieces of his first move as a military child.
“A big truck come,” said Andrew. “We put our stuff back in the truck.”
After four months, Andrew was reunited with his father during the OTS graduation ceremony.
“He remembers my OTS graduation and they made us march around,” said Canaan. “He calls everyone in uniform a marching man now.”
Like many military children, Andrew has become accustomed to moving.
“Since beginning my career, my family has moved four times, not to include the travelling they’ve done to support me,” said John.
“Andrew has done really well with moving and adjusting,” said Janell Canaan, Andrew’s mother. “I think he wouldn’t care where in the world he was as long as he was with daddy.”
Andrew has embraced the military lifestyle.
“He really does love the military,” said John. “I think he is more resilient than anyone, and he really is starting to adapt to [military] life.”
According to his parents, the military has given Andrew the opportunity to see new places, but what they are most happy with is the opportunity to broaden his horizons to what careers are available to him.
“It’s so fun because I’ve just opened his eyes up to a whole new possibility of what he can be when he grows up,” said John.
By watching his father, Andrew has developed a love of the military, but more specifically he’s developed a love of space.
“Ever since we learned daddy was going to be in the space world, he has been obsessed with space,” said Janell. “He loves everything about space.”
“I like satellites,” said Andrew, pointing to his space shirt.
John works long hours at times, so on days off, in order to make special family time and to help foster Andrew’s love of space, the Canaans plan trips to places like the planetarium.
“I love Andrew’s love of space and his love of using his imagination,” said Janell.
Andrew dreams of going to space one day or working on satellites in space like his dad.
“It’s really awesome…he wants to be just like dad,” said John. “I feel like that’s a win in the parenting book.”
For now, Andrew is the typical toddler. He loves playing outside, swimming and taking care of his little sister. But his parents insist the military has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to him.
“I love to serve, and I’m projecting that to him,” said John. “He sees dad likes to do it, and thinks maybe I’ll like to do it too. A lot of our family is military, so we really support the military and I’m glad I get to show it to him first hand.”