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Positive attitude helps Airmen make most of time at Warren

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. -- It is hard to believe that more than two years ago I took the exit towards Randall Avenue from I-25 for the first time in my life. I was nervous and did not know what to expect. I heard many negative things about this base back in technical school.

The truth is the majority of the negative talk came from people who had never been to Wyoming. I slowly approached the main gate and saw the white, bold letters that read "FE WARREN AFB," which greeted me to this new chapter in my life.

The defender at the gate politely asked for my ID, greeted me with a smile and wished me a great day. Her attitude was completely different to what I was expecting and immediately changed my expectations. A first impression goes a long way, and the way I was received at the gate that day changed my whole mood towards my first duty station.

I continued my quest to find the security forces training building where my sponsor was waiting for me. It was a cold April afternoon and for someone who lived 18 years in Honduras and 3 years in San Antonio, it was the arctic tundra. I had yet to realize that 35 degrees was actually "warm" weather in Cheyenne. It was not until the day I tried opening an A-circuit at -20 degrees Fahrenheit that I missed home more than ever.

Months went by, and I enjoyed my time volunteering for Cheyenne Frontier Days. It was a great experience seeing how each squadron unites with the community, providing a great amount of volunteer hours.

I then got involved with the Airman's Oasis, located on the basement of Bldg. 248, which allowed me to meet other Airmen who had the same vision of being successful in the Air Force. I also started volunteering at the Airman's Attic Saturdays where I met Master Sgt. Joshua Hinsey, who taught me the importance of having a great attitude and making the most of wherever you are.

I then met Chaplain (Capt.) Robert Tilley and Tom Johnson who introduced me to the COMEA Homeless Shelter located off base. It was such a shocking experience volunteering at the shelter, where I met veterans who had sacrificed so much for their country and ended up not having a place to sleep. This made me appreciate my life and job a little more and taught me not to complain about the place I live, but to try my best to make it better every day.

I can look back at the last 25 months and realize that this place has a lot to offer. I have been prairie dog hunting, skiing, hiking, camping, fishing and I'll go skydiving soon. The opportunities to excel are out there, you just have to go out and look for them. Whether you like to volunteer, play video games or simply enjoy the outdoors, you have to understand that you are in control of your life and it is all about your attitude. You might as well make the most out of wherever you are at and enjoy your time here.