NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. --
Allana Depaz, a high school senior at Buffalo Seminary in Buffalo, N.Y., is currently in the delayed entry program for the Air Force Reserve. She reports to NFARS for unit training assemblies or drill weekends, where she trains with the development and training flight, which is designed to prepare trainees like Depaz for Basic Military Training and life in the Air Force Reserve.
Last year in February, Depaz was weighing her options for her future when she decided to talk to Tech. Sgt. Benjamin White, an Air Force Reserve Recruiter in Hamburg, N.Y. One of Depaz’s reasons for considering the Air Force Reserve was that her mother had previously served. This is something that sparked admiration and inspiration in Depaz.
“I always looked up to my mom for being in the Air Force,” said Depaz. “I wanted to be like her.”
Depaz’s mother, Kim Davis, accompanied her daughter to the recruiter’s office. Upon discovering Davis’ service history, Tech. Sgt. White asked her if she had considered reenlisting. Davis hadn’t given it much thought until then, but Tech. Sgt. White encouraged her to think about it. Less than a month later, Davis took her oath of reenlistment.
Davis is currently a Senior Airman assigned to the 914th Aeromedical Staging Squadron. After a 12-year break in service, she returned to the same AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) and is working through career development course work and training to recertify as an Aerospace Medical Journeyman.
For Davis, returning to service feels a little like home.
“It’s nice to be back,” said Davis. “I missed it.”
Although Depaz will be working alongside her mother as a Reserve Citizen Airman for the 914th Air Refueling Wing, her ultimate goal is independence.
Following basic training, Depaz will complete her technical training for Emergency Management at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. She will be assigned to the 914th Civil Engineer Squadron. She hopes the Air Force will provide her with professional experience that she can someday apply to a career in the civilian world.
For Depaz, joining the military is something she hopes will challenge and strengthen her character.
“I want to do something different, something that I think will make me better as a person and something I would have to work hard at to accomplish,” said Depaz.
She feels so strongly about her decision to enlist that she prepared and delivered a speech at her school in early March. The speech was about women who serve in the military. Her mother attended the event in uniform.
“I was happy to be a part of it,” remarked Davis. “Buffalo Seminary has not had a graduating senior enlist in any branch of the military in quite some time. The students had some great questions for Allana.”
Depaz is set to depart for Air Force Basic Training in July of this year. Both mother and daughter look forward to serving together here at Niagara, under the 914 ARW.