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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why I Serve: Capt. Josh Christopher


Capt. Josh Christopher is an instructor at the Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base.

He’s been in the Air Force for four years, and already his reasons for service are evolving.

“To me, it started out as one reason and has kind of developed as my time and experience in the Air Force has changed,” he said.

Early on, he wanted to be part of the traditions and customs. When he started college, Sept. 11, 2001 happened.

At the University of Cincinnati, he was part of the ROTC program and was commissioned upon graduation.

“It meant a lot to me to become part of keeping America safe,” he said.

Last year he deployed as an aircraft maintenance officer. He said seeing the American impact there reinforced his reasons for serving.

A few weeks ago, his first son was born.

That has changed his life in many ways.

“The world is a dangerous place,” Christopher said. “I want to make sure the nation is secure for my kid and make things better for him.”

As an instructor at OTS, he’s training the next generation of officers that he hopes will carry on his work.

“We need people to come in behind us and keep making it safer. Somebody’s gotta do the security and safety of what our country stands for,” he said.

Just as he and his fellow service members today have continued the work done by past generations of veterans.

“Service really doesn’t change,” Christopher said. “It’s always been the same and what we stood for.”

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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