Airman honors grandfather through service

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rito Smith
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Many people are dazzled by the beautiful sights common to the United Kingdom, and would jump at the chance to visit the patchwork fields and elegant country gardens, or some of the cities like Liverpool and Oxford.

For one Airman, the chance to follow their grandfather’s footsteps and serve in the United States Armed Services was more enticing.

Senior Airman John Jordan currently serves as a crew chief on KC-135 Stratotanker Aircraft at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He is also a member of the Base Honor Guard program, which allows him to see different aspects of the Air Force, while simultaneously developing himself as a professional and as an Airman.

His grandfather was one of the many reasons he decided to dedicate his time and service to the country that gave them both so much.

“My grandfather was a lieutenant in the United States Army in 1958,” said Jordan. “I want to commission eventually and follow in his footsteps.”

He had to finish school first and decide if that was the right decision.

“When I finished school in the UK, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life,” said Jordan. “Then I started thinking, and realized I wanted to serve in the U.S. military and get in touch with my American heritage.”

Jordan takes pride in every aspect of his job as a maintainer, as well as his duties in the Base Honor Guard.

“Being a crew chief, we spend a lot of hours working, but the results are extremely satisfying when we see our aircraft takeoff,” said Jordan. “On top of that, being in the Base Honor Guard has really reaffirmed the choice I made to join by showing me the bigger picture of service and sacrifice, while teaching me that those who served before us are just as important.”

Jordan has hopes and goals to serve his country to his greatest ability while learning the true meaning of service and sacrifice.

“Being part of the Honor Guard, they have to spend a lot of time away from home in order to provide the funeral honors,” said Master Sgt. Angela Wright, NCOIC of MacDill Honor Guard. “I think he has also mastered the lesson of resiliency, because he has to be prepared for a detail at any moment’s notice.”

Serving his country means not only making his family proud with his individual accomplishments, but making his country proud.

“My grandfather is extremely proud of me joining. He actually pushed for me to join the Air Force instead of the Army, because he said I would have better opportunities here,” said Jordan.

For Jordan, joining the Air Force has also impacted his family to follow in his footsteps.

“I think joining has inspired my brother to be a part of something bigger than himself. He is going to join as soon as he finishes school,” said Jordan.

Jordan says his end goal is to continue to strive for improvement in his career and personal life by soaking up the knowledge he receives now and passing it on later down his path.

“Coming to the United States I believe has changed my life for the better,” said Jordan. “It has opened a lot of doors and avenues that I could pursue, and it’s the best way I can serve my country.”