VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE -- It’s easy to forget all the sacrifices our forefathers made.
There are impacts that many cultures share with each other, but each has their own distinction and personality. For me, my Filipino heritage boils down to one thing. Family.
Following the conclusion of World War I, my great-grandfather was one of the first Filipinos to join the United States Navy in the late 1910’s. His job was simple, play music on board the ship and perform various other stewardship jobs given at the time to Filipinos.
A musician by trade, he worked hard, made a career of the Navy and later returned home to the Philippines. This is where we start to see a commonality of all my relatives that have given back to this country. They worked hard and sacrificed time together so the next generation could do better.
My grandfather’s military service in the Navy was no different. He retired and lived to see three major American conflicts, World War II, the Korean War and the tail end of Vietnam. Like my great-grandfather, he worked hard and spent time away from home. His reward was being able to bring our family from the Philippines to the United States, where opportunities began to flow more than ever.
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My story doesn’t end there. In keeping with tradition, my mother, father, uncle and step-grandfather all retired from the U.S. Air Force. Their careers set my course.
The way I work and conduct myself in my service to our country, is the way I represent my ethnic heritage. It is built on the foundation of my lineage. That can never be taken away from me.
I’m 2nd Lt. Francis Ambion, 4th Space Launch Squadron Mission Integration Flight electrical engineer. I support the 1st Air and Space Test Squadron as the Mission Integrator for the Minotaur launch program and I have worked with the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron as a Facilities and Infrastructure Responsible Engineer.
I stand as the fourth generation Filipino-American of my lineage to serve in the U.S. military. For me, this job is the family business. I work hard to keep with tradition, which I do by serving my country. Our country is built on the heritage of each other and each piece of heritage.
Each piece of our family, culminates to create the person we are today.