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Have you “made it”?

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Back where I'm from, it is believed that once you have gotten into the Air Force you've made it.

Do you feel like you've made it?

In the past, I have leisurely debated that question in my mind. But it wasn't until this week that someone asked me if I feel satisfied, fulfilled, accomplished, or do I feel as if I have made it?

The definition of "making it" is decided by the individual defining the term, whether that be the accumulation of wealth, success in his or her career field, or finally achieving a lifelong dream.

For me, "making it" means doing my job well, living comfortably, and going beyond what is expected of me. This year I chose to go beyond what is expected when I was elected as the Rising Four president. It wasn't about holding a position, or gaining a fancy bullet for my enlisted performance report; I chose to go beyond what was expected to help better the community and the Airman I work alongside each and every day.

"Making it" as the Rising Four president is not about just giving people opportunities to volunteer. The only times I am truly satisfied with the work that I have done in the organization is when I'm able to look into each members' eyes and tell them I've done my best, with a clear conscious and honesty in my heart.

To be able to tell them that I gave my all in order to give each and every one of them the best organization that I could possibly give.

I am not afraid to miss a party, stay up late or give up a weekend to accomplish a goal. At the end of the day, it's not the nights spent at a bar that I am proud of, it's the fact that I've made a difference in people's lives, and that I gave them the opportunity to realize what "making it" means for them.