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Defender takes pride in heritage, being Airman

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anthony Munoz
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Luis Gonzalez Colon, 90th Security Forces Group A3 Superintendent, moved from Puerto Rico to enlist into the U.S. Air Force in 2005.

“I joined the Air Force straight from the island,” said Gonzalez Colon. “I knew the basics of English from watching the news, reading the subtitles on TV and reading.”

Gonzalez Colon was assigned a translator while in basic military training to assist with communication and help him graduate to technical school.

“I came there with my accent and started learning different conversational pieces and slang,” said Gonzalez Colon. “While listening to different people in the United States, I learned that people from different parts of the country had different accents.”

He has expanded his English vocabulary and accredits God for his success in life after more than 16 years of service in the Air Force.

“Of course I will have my accent, but I am doing better because I can communicate,” said Gonzalez Colon. “I feel thankful and grateful. Thank you, God. I can’t explain the happiness that I have.”

Gonzalez Colon takes pride in his Air Force career and looks forward to wearing his uniform every day.

“Every day, I feel like a little kid on the first day of school with new clothes and new shoes,” said Gonzalez Colon. “Every day feels like that for me. I tell people ‘Call me blue if you want.’ I don’t care, because it’s exciting for me to put my uniform on, especially because I got promoted to master sergeant. That is a huge milestone in my life.”

He inspires his Airmen to find a deeper sense of meaning while pursuing their Air Force careers.

“You have a job, but because you wear this uniform, you have a duty,” said Gonzalez Colon. “You raised your hand to volunteer to protect the U.S. Constitution and freedom for everybody else. Work could be difficult, but you need to see it in a positive way and enjoy your work regardless of what you’re doing.”

Gonzalez Colon does not let a day pass without appreciating his life and everything he holds close to his heart.

“People take life for granted,” said Gonzalez Colon. “You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Enjoy your friends, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, daughter, son, family, pet, mom and dad. Enjoy all of that. ”

He appreciates how the Air Force is designed for people from a variety of backgrounds to be able to unify and work together to accomplish the mission.

“I don’t like to use the word minority. I don’t want to get into politics. For me, everyone is American. We are U.S. citizens,” said Gonzalez Colon.

He also believes that the importance of diversity within the Air Force needs to be emphasized.

“If we can merge our ideas together with diversity, we can do great things because people see through different lenses and have different perspectives on life,” said Gonzalez Colon.

He believes the Air Force mission can be accomplished as long as people can unify their differences to create one cohesive team.

“I would encourage everyone, no matter what ethnicity, to keep grinding and keep moving toward one common goal. To have the best Air Force, to have a better nation and to better yourself and your family,” said Gonzalez Colon.

Gonzalez Colon hopes to become a first sergeant as he continues to progress through his Air Force career.