Fully Fluent Airman

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Melanie Bulow-Gonterman
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
University of Alaska Anchorage Chancellor Edward Lee Gorsuch once said, "Learning a foreign language not only reveals how other societies think and feel, what they have experienced
and value, and how they express themselves, it also provides a cultural mirror in which we can more clearly see our own society."

For Senior Airman LadyCiara Eime, 6th Comptroller Squadron command support staff, learning languages has become second nature.

Eime was born and raised in the Philippines, speaking Tagalog, which was the household language. Her mother and father, both from different cultural backgrounds, widened her vocabulary to Cebuano and Chavacano, native tongue of her father, and Mandarin, her mother's native language.

Growing up she dreamed of coming to the United States and fulfilling the American dream, so she began to save her money. Her mother and father encouraged her to invest her money and time in education because once that was complete the possibilities for their little girl were endless.

"I always wanted to learn about different cultures and I love to travel," expressed Eime.
Her parents instilled these words into her throughout her childhood--"you must finish a higher education for wisdom, it's the only wealth that cannot be stolen or taken away from us."

"My parents always told me that people who know more about other cultures are knowledgeable and know their way around life," stated Eime. "Learning their language is the best weapon you can use to battle the challenges that life may bring you."
Eime's prerogative quickly changed and with the small amount of money she saved and the help from the Philippines President and an American telecommunications company, Eime earned a Bachelor's of Science in International Business Administration and graduated as a Cum Laude.

After graduation, with no knowledge of the English language, a telecommunications company moved her to St. Louis, Missouri, where she worked for a few years until an American motor company offered her a job as a trainer-supervisor. Due to her job responsibilities, she traveled to call centers in the Philippines, India and China. When the company downsized in 2007, Eime lost her job.

Eime did not know a single word of English when she came to the states. Her husband, prior navy, learned Tagalog and helped her learn English. Within a year, she was able to have conversations with people without using her Tagalog/English dictionary.
"Learning different languages is the main key for you to understand their culture and will help you deal with different types of people with different personalities where you can work together to succeed," said Eime.

It was not until her husband received orders to Japan that she immersed herself in the Japanese culture and learned Nihongo.

In March of 2011, she made the decision to join the Air Force. A week after meeting with a recruiter, she was shipped to basic where she was assigned a job as a personnelist.

"Knowing six different languages has definitely enhanced my Air Force career. It has allowed me to relate with the diversity of people in the military as well as see problems and solutions from different perspectives. These perspectives are accompanied by the heuristics that define how individuals search for solutions which strengthens our force," said Eime.

Eime hopes to commission and is currently waiting to hear if her nurse enlisted, commissioning package has been accepted.

"Growing up in a family of languages has been a major stepping stone in my success," stated Eime. "Through perseverance and hard work I was able to fulfill my ultimate goal of living the American dream."