The Harbinger Online

A Living Legacy

He’s gone when Bailey wakes up. He won’t be home for a week. Just like every month, when sophomore Bailey Riecker’s dad travels to Arizona for military training. She has to say goodbye the night before he left.

Usually Bailey’s dad, Cameron Riecker, works from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Missouri, but for a week every month he travels to Arizona. It could have been weeks at a time if he had decided to become an airline pilot last summer but he didn’t because he wanted to be home for important event in his daughters’ lives.

It’s normal for her since she’s been living this way since she was born.

“He fixes the big planes and he’ll bring stuff over to people, like in Hurricane Katrina he brought water and food,” Bailey said.

He’s a support staff supervisor for the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center (AATTC) and is in charge of the six support shops in the squadron.

“My main function is to ensure that all aircraft attending the air crew course of the AATTC are mission ready,” Cameron said.

Her dad joined to help pay for his college and to serve his country.

Bailey has several family members in the military, so she feels as if everyone decided to follow the occupation. On her dad’s side, her uncle just retired from the National Guard, her grandpa was in the Navy during the Vietnam War and her cousin is leaning towards joining the Air Force. On her mom’s side, her grandpa was in the National Guard and her great-grandpa was in the U.S. Army.

As for Bailey, she’s not so sure yet.

“I would want to be a Judge Advocate General [JAG] which is similar to an attorney in the military,” Bailey said.

Bailey would have to get a law degree, but the military would pay for her college while she worked as a JAG. Cameron said that Bailey would only have to work one weekend a month.

Bailey is indecisive about joining the military is because she still isn’t sure what she wants to do in college or for a longtime career. She isn’t sure if she wants to be a lawyer for the military or if she even wants be a lawyer at all.

If Bailey were to join, she said that she’d do it mostly because the military would pay for her education. Depending on how she likes it, she may continue. Melissa, Bailey’s mom, said that she’d be proud if her daughter decided to join the military.

“It takes a certain amount of character to serve your country and be willing to potentially give up your life,” Bailey’s mom, Melissa, said.

As for now, Bailey has to wait until she’s 17 and has her parents’ consent to join.

“It depends on where I’m at in two years,” she said. “Like where I want to go to college and what I want to do as a career in the future.”

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Mike Thibodeau

Senior Mike Thibodeau is the features editor for the Harbinger Online, as well as a sports page designer. Read Full »

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