JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
From a young age, many individuals are engrained with principles from their parents which come to shape different facets of life.
While some children follow in their parent’s footsteps, others stride to forge their own paths.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kirsten Dehart and her father Senior Master Sgt. David Dehart not only serve together within the 192nd Maintenance Squadron of the Virginia Air National Guard's 192nd Wing, but sometimes are afforded the ability of working side by side one another.
Being able to see the Air Force journey of your child is not something all members can relate to. However, David can’t help but comment on the career moments Kirsten has gone through that mirror his own. From graduating Basic Military Training in Texas to going through the same tech school as he did years prior in Florida, this father-daughter duo shares many of the same Air Force experiences.
“Taking part in her graduation and being back at the place where I graduated tech school and attended seven-level school was a great experience,” David said, referring to the upgrade training most career-Airmen undergo. “It was neat that she got to experience much of the same things I did as a student.”
As Kirsten progressed through the ranks, David stressed the importance of working hard and standing behind the quality of the work you do.
“I told Kirsten that you are not always recognized for the hard work and great job you do, but sometimes it just comes to be expected of people with great character,” said David. “I know Kirsten works hard to do the best job that she can and that people trust their lives to her work. I hope she will remember that trust is better than any award you can receive.”
Kirsten makes great strides to incorporate knowledge passed down from her father, knowing she can come to him with any problem.
“He’s someone I can go to when I have an issue and don’t know where to go first,” Kirsten said. “Since I work in the same squadron as my dad, I know I can always talk to him about work and he can relate because we deal with almost the same things every day. He’s already experienced things that might be new to me and can give me his perspective and insight.”
David described the challenge of seeing his daughter experience the same trials he has gone through, balancing a level of professionalism while still giving parental advice when she needs it.
“I see her going through a lot of the same issues I experienced in my career,” said David. “I try and help her as much as I can, but I still have to maintain a degree of separation because I want her to learn, grow, and succeed on her own and she is doing a great job of that.”
Kirsten knows that she can always fall back on the advice from her father, but ultimately needs to blaze her own trail and make her own way in the Air Force.
“When I was growing up I was always very proud of my dad and what he did,” Kirsten said. “One thing I would tell him is that I appreciate him being there for me, supporting me, and being able to give me advice in my career.”