German-American finds calling in the Air Force

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Michael Killian
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Have you ever felt dissatisfied with your career or unappreciated in your workplace?
This is how U.S. Air Force Senior Airman David Larsen, 6th Communications Squadron radio frequency transmission technician, felt in 2018 when he was a sales manager for an international paper machinery supplier in Germany.
“On paper, everything was perfect,” Larsen said. “I was going to tons of parties in fancy hotels all over the world, juggling millions of dollars and hitting all the milestones. But at the end of the day, I was just a number. I was burning out and I was miserable.”
After deciding that he couldn’t continue to stay in his comfort zone, Larsen began to reevaluate the direction of his life and left his job.
“My biggest fear is being stuck in a retirement home reminiscing about all the missed opportunities and shots I didn’t take,” Larsen said.
Stefan Fathi, a close friend of Larsen in Germany, said that Larsen has always been interested in American culture. He chose to express that in his daily life by having 9/11 and Pearl Harbor imagery on his recreational vehicle. 
Having dual citizenship with the United States and Germany, Larsen wanted to explore opportunities in both countries. He was already familiar with Germany, his country of birth, and desired a reset. Larsen looked more closely towards living in America, which led to him ultimately enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. 
“I decided to sign a four-year contract with the Air Force for a challenge,” Larsen said. “I soon discovered how much [the Air Force] seemed to care about my well-being, even during basic military training.
“I was taken care of. People cared about me and checked up on me. The Air Force has been the best employer I have ever had in my life.”
His initial dream upon joining was to become a pilot, but he was too old under the Air Force’s standards at the time. However, the rule changed while he was at tech school, stating that Airmen over 33 years old can become pilots without a waiver.
“After that, I was set on becoming a pilot,” Larsen said. “I want to be a commissioned officer, I want to serve for 20 years and I want to fly planes.”
Larsen is currently in the footsteps of realizing his dream and will soon take his test to become an Air Force pilot.  
Stefan Fathi, a close friend of Larsen in Germany, said that he feels proud of Larsen for taking a chance with the Air Force.
“Being in the Air Force gave him a purpose that fulfills him,” Fathi said. “Whenever we talk on the phone, he tells me all about his novel experiences and professional development, and always with a big smile on his face.”
Larson said he hopes to inspire others to get out of their comfort zones and to always move forward. The hopeful future pilot is thankful he did.