Military News

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Couple share life, enlistment oath together

by Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


12/7/2012 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- A husband's desire to support his wife's decision to enlist turned into a double enlistment when he raised his hand to join the Air Force Reserve as well.

Eric and Ashlee Todd enlisted together Nov. 30.

The decision was sparked after a visit with AF Reserve Recruiter Master Sgt. Charles Loftland in Tukwilla, Wash. Eric originally went to support his wife, but support turned to enthusiasm after listening to Loftland. The Seattle couple left the office with a commitment to become Citizen Airmen.

"I had often thought about joining the Air Force, but I never really had the courage," said Eric, a coordination center officer with the Transportation Security Administration in SeaTac, Wash. "Ashlee encouraged me to believe in myself. Sergeant Loftland made the Reserve sound so appealing, I felt it would be a perfect fit."

Loftland said initially, Eric had no intention of joining the Reserve, but as he started explaining the Reserve mission and the benefits of being a Reservist, Eric started coming around.

Ashlee, a student at Argosy University in Seattle, said being in the Reserve together will help make their marriage grow even stronger.

"It'll help him better understand what I'm going through, because he's doing it to," she said. "We'll be able to relate to each other a lot better. When one of us has to deploy, the other one will understand the pains better, and it'll be that much easier to go, because we'll both know what it takes to deal with it."

Eric said being in the military together will allow them to share the same lifestyle. "If only one of us was in the Reserve and the other wasn't either, she or I would feel sort of 'left out.' With us both going in, we can support each other more in our activities and we can appreciate and share what we've learned each new day," he said.

Ashlee will enter the Reserve as an Airman with the 36th Aerial Port Squadron here. "I would like to see myself integrating it with my military career."

Eric chose the emergency management career field with the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron here.

"I wanted to do something where I could respond in emergencies," he said. "I've always wanted a job where I could help people. I'm kind of a dispatcher at my civilian job, so I wanted to be a responder in order to help, while staying out of harm's way."

Ashlee said she was influenced to join by some of her former coworkers were also Reservists.

"When I worked for TSA, I saw all these other amazing people with military backgrounds," she said. I figured,' you know what? I'm going to school right now. I want to serve, and I'm a big fan of volunteering.' In my own way, the Reserve is how I'd like to give back."

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