Parents' Stories

Trained for Technology

The Military answers one young man's calling to work with computers

Sherrie Gibson had always been familiar with the Military. Her father had been in the Air Force for 20 years. But when her son Christopher started dropping hints that he was interested in joining the Military after high school, Sherrie’s first reaction was a hesitant gasp. She wasn’t exactly sure he was the “military type.”

“He’s a computer geek,” smiled Sherrie.

Trained for Technology

But technology education was a primary reason for Christopher’s interest. So together, Sherrie and Christopher started researching.

“Christopher used a lot of means to gather information,” stated Sherrie. “He met with a recruiter on a monthly basis starting junior year. I went with Christopher the first two times – to ask the questions he would be a little too afraid to ask, like ‘How much do you get paid?’ and, ‘What kind of danger would he be in?’”

Sherrie quickly learned that the Military had changed a lot since her father served. The increased focus on technology and advanced training available in the computer field helped her understand why the Service might be a good choice for her son. After all, he’d be learning a skill that would help him throughout his life.

“It’s not a whole lot different in the Military than it is in civilian life,” Sherrie said. “Computers are computers regardless of where they are; just that in the Military there’s an added layer of security.”

Upon considering the educational, financial and travel opportunities the Military had to offer, as Sherrie put it best, “My head won out over my heart.”

After approximately a year and a half of thorough research, Christopher enlisted in the Air Force. Sherrie helped Christopher prepare for Basic Training. They took hikes, discussed the physical challenges he would face and met with relatives and friends who had previously been in the Military for insight.

“The toughest part for me was dropping him off at the recruiter’s to be taken to Basic Training,” confided Sherrie. “That was the toughest day of my life.”

But when Basic Training came to a close and Christopher was sent home to act as a recruiter’s assistant for two weeks, Sherrie encountered a very different young man.

“The change was both physical and mental. He was more polite in his manner. He was more grown-up. He would stand straighter. He was very proud of himself, and it showed in the way he stood and the way he presented himself. It reaffirmed he had made the right decision.”

After his specialized training, Christopher was stationed in Nebraska for a year and a half. And upon a request for overseas deployment, he was then transferred to South Korea.

“He loves to travel,” remarked Sherrie. “And he laid my fears to rest. I was very confident he had the right training to be in South Korea.”

Christopher is now a senior airman for the Air Force doing what he loves: computer networking. And as for Sherrie, well, she couldn’t be more proud.

“I can see him growing into a very responsible adult – a very successful adult. And a lot of that has to do with the background he’s gaining through the Military.”