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Writer shares Air Force story with masses despite visual impairment

Right talent, right now

Each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

While most children my age dreamed of becoming a doctor or a teacher, I wanted to be a writer.

I had taken an interest in listening to audio books after I lost 95 percent of my vision due to complications with a birth defect. The way authors like Judy Blume could put you in the shoes of a kid bullied by classmates in the book, “Blubber,” or how Gertrude Chandler Warner could take readers on colorful adventures through the vivid words she used in her series, “The Boxcar Children,” sparked my imagination and inspired me to compose my own short stories on loose-leaf paper.

Years later, during my sophomore year, I got a spot on my high school yearbook staff. While I couldn’t see well enough to draw layouts, I used my love of writing to write short articles about school events and caption photos. Though people seemed to take my passion for writing as no more than a hobby, I had a goal of one day turning my interest into a career.

Throughout college, I encountered many naysayers who doubted my ability to make writing a career. One journalism professor told me I’d be better off working for a ‘handicap association.’ While I certainly could’ve taken such a position and done a bang-up job, his suggestion only fueled my determination to continue toward my dream.

After a grueling job search, where I faced several editors who thought like that professor had, I landed a job with the Air Force. After a little more than a year or so, I found myself in my dream job as a writer in the Robins Public Affairs Office, sharing the Air Force story and showing readers how Airmen make a difference for our country every day through the mission we all serve.

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. It’s a time to celebrate those who work through their various limitations and use their talents for the good of their workplace. I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to support and be an important part of the Air Force mission. Thanks to the Air Force, I’ve been able to live out one of my dreams, while supporting the warfighting mission.