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Today's Tuskegee Airmen: Carrying on the legacy

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Odesea Cyprian
  • 332nd Expeditionary Force Support Squadron
Racism. Discrimination. Disgust. Hatred. For the original Tuskegee Airmen, these words echoed throughout their Air Force time. These were only a small fraction of the countless hurdles our wingmen had to face every day. Whether reporting for training or simply attempting to eat, these men were faced with barriers.
Unfortunately, some of these obstacles still present themselves today. In my short, but promising career, I have faced situations that have thwarted me, as I'm sure all of you have. But we have all persevered! We have persevered in the same way those individuals did so many years ago.

As I follow in their footsteps, I live by a creed. My creed is to be faithful to a proud heritage, a tradition of honor and a legacy of valor. These great Americans have shown us how to stay persistent as guardians of freedom and justice. By living in this monumental moment in time, those men have infused my Airman's Creed and I truly believe that I am a wingman, leader, and warrior.

Those forerunners affected all of our careers long before we deployed. No matter our ethnicity, creed or color, it is with great thanks to these Airmen we are allowed to serve this great nation along side the fine men and women that we do today. To serve here and be able to continue their legacy is nothing less than an honor.

To have my name, Senior Airman Odesea Cyprian, representing everything they stood for is something my family will know for generations to come. I now know any task I am assigned will be completed in a mirrored reflection, because I have the Tuskegee Airman qualities deeply instilled in me.

I am a Tuskegee Airman and, to me, that means I am following suit with my predecessors in this point in time. It means I am honoring the true tradition of their heritage by serving alongside all of you. I have the courage to face indifferences, obstacles and other shortfalls I will encounter. I now have, and will continue to have that same relentless drive for success. I am a Tuskegee Airman. I will never falter, and I will not fail.