Like father, like son

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tori Schultz
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
"I cried with joy when I received the news from Congresswoman Kathy Castor," said Master Sgt. Timothy Sewell, 6th Operations Group C-37A flight engineer senior flight examiner. "It was like the feeling you get when your child takes their first steps or rides a bike for the first time, but this joy - this joy overwhelmed me with a greater sense of pride."

Castor had just informed Sewell that his son, Michael Mendez, was accepted into the Air Force Academy March 20, 2014. Mendez expressed interest in the Air Force and becoming a pilot at a young age.

"It has been a long-time goal of mine to enroll at the Air Force Academy, because it's the best opportunity for me to serve as both an officer and a pilot," said Mendez.

Mendez decided that being an Air Force pilot was for him after years of exposure to his father's career. After every trip, Sewell returned home with postcards and pictures from the countries he visited and talked with his son about his many adventures, good and bad.

"His stories of all the trips and locations he went to around the world opened my eyes to the benefits and hardships of serving in the Air Force," said Mendez. "It also helped me develop a want to serve my country."

Along with his acceptance into the academy, Mendez was also accepted into the University of Florida and the University of South Florida. However, Mendez decided the academy would better prepare him both academically and for the military lifestyle.

"The academy builds strong leaders," said Mendez. "I will graduate with a great education, lifelong friends, and ready to serve my country."

After graduation, Mendez plans to pursue a career in aviation; becoming a pilot for large military transport aircraft or remotely piloted aircraft. Mendez is also considering becoming a cyberspace operations officer.

"I understand that as an Air Force officer I will be held to a higher standard and be asked to lead people who, at times, might have more time in service; however, I see this as an opportunity for me to grow as a person and as a leader. I'm ready for whatever the Air Force has to offer."