Where I feel pride

(Courtesy graphic)

(Courtesy graphic)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- When you look up pride in the Webster dictionary, you get two definitions:

1. A feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people.
2. A feeling of happiness that you get when you or someone you know does something good, difficult, etc.

Everyone has something they are proud of. For some, it's being a parent, their career or maybe something smaller like their pets or sport teams. There are many aspects of my life where I feel pride.

Lately, the thing I am most proud of is my son. He is only three months old and learning new things while always smiling and laughing with me. Every time I see him, I am filled with such a strong sense of pride and happiness. I am also proud of my Air Force career as I continue serving as a disabled veteran working alongside active duty and Air National Guard members. I am also proud of my heritage, being from a hardworking, middle class family, growing up in a farming community in rural Nebraska. Sometimes I feel pride for the Nebraska Corn Huskers football team, although sadly my pride has been subdued in the last few years.

I am proud of a lot of things in my life, and I think it's important for all of us to take the time to reflect on aspects of our lives that bring us respect for ourselves. June is that time of year where we celebrate with other lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite people in the pride we feel for one aspect of who we are, and how many obstacles we have overcome as a group. We have had to face many challenges throughout history to reach a point where we respect ourselves and recognize that we deserve to be respected by other people. June is that time for me to feel pride for being a lesbian and part of the Fairchild community, which has repeatedly shown respect for a diversity of people and their happiness.

In celebration of the very first military-wide LGBT pride month observance, there has been numerous opportunities for Team Fairchild to celebrate the diverse and inclusive community around them. On June 17, we will host a brown bag luncheon featuring guest speaker Dr. Barbara Williamson, a professor of English at Spokane Community College and activist in the LGBT community. Following the luncheon will be four real talk open forums, including: dealing with bullies, LGBT terms/correct communication style, family acceptance/communication and military benefits. On June 27 following the wing run, there will be a dodge ball tournament. I invite you all to participate in these activities and look forward to seeing a strong show of support for your fellow service members.