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Pushing through

airman at computer

Airman 1st Class Diego Lozano works at his computer with the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron Nov. 2, 2020 on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. Lozano had a long and winding road to the Air Force, but through his resiliency, bounced back from a number of setbacks to become an Airman. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman Faith MacIlvaine)

F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo --

In 2018, Airman 1st Class Diego Lozano had never thought about joining the Air Force.

“To be honest, I took the ASVAB to get out of my high school calculus class,” confesses Lozano. “I didn't take it seriously at all.” 

However, when Lozano got his test scores back, he was surprised to see how high he scored. 

“All the recruiters surrounded me, telling me why I should join and how great I would be,” said Lozano. “I just told them I’d think about it.” 

Still, Lozano was skeptical about joining the military. 

“I knew nothing about the military and I really couldn’t picture myself in it,” said Lozano. “That being said, I still gave the recruiter my phone number.” 

Months passed and Lozano carried on with his classes, mainly focusing on applying to colleges. 

“My parents set me up for college, so I got good grades, worked hard, learned to adapt and be flexible,” said Lozano. “They instilled all those traits in me and I think it all helped make me who I am.”

Once he graduated high school, Lozano didn’t think about the Air Force. He had a serious girlfriend at the time, and they planned to go to the same college together. 

“I had imagined a future together, a life together and we planned college together,” said Lozano. 

It was February 2019 when she unexpectedly broke up with him. 

“It turned my life upside down,” said Lozano. “And that was just the start.”

Over the next couple months, family issues started when Lozano’s father lost his job and decided to start a new business. 

“Hard work runs in my family, and my parents and my brothers all worked their way through college,” said Lozano. “But now that I wasn’t going to college, I didn’t know what to do.” 

With his older brothers in college and younger brothers in middle school, there was no one to help his dad with his business. 

“So I decided to work for my dad for a couple months,” said Lozano. “By this point, it felt too late for me to go to college.” 

Lozano brushed off his dream of going to college and continued working for his dad’s business for a couple months. 

“Eventually my dad found a job in Boston and I realized I had nothing to do,” said Lozano. “It freed up opportunity in my life.” 

Lozano contemplated going to community college for two years and then transferring to the military. Lozano started working out and eating healthy to prepare. He was still unsure what branch he would join when in April the Air Force recruiter from high school called him up. 

“He called out of the blue, asking if I still wanted to join,” Lozano remembered. After looking into the benefits, Lozano decided the Air Force was the way to go and set on a path to join. 

“I looked at everything the Air Force stood for; the core values and the Airman's Creed spoke to me,” said Lozano. “I realized it was really something I wanted to be a part of.”

Looking back, Lozano reflected on the struggles he went through in high school and how it led him to this point in his life. The obstacles he had to overcome prepared Lozano for the resilience he needed in the Air Force.

“Here in [the 90th Civil Engineering Squadron], we’re always working hard, looking over work orders and out fixing things,“ said Lozano. “I think my previous life experience has really helped me perform at my job in the Air Force.” 

From a tough high school break up to stressful family problems, Lozano learned hard work, resilience and flexibility along the way. 

“Without those hardships, I don’t think I would have ended up where I am now,” said Lozano.