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Visit to local recruiting office a real family affair

446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Published: 01:10PM December 13th, 2012
Visit to local recruiting office a real family affair

Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle

When Eric Todd, middle, visited the recruiting office in Tukwila, to support his wife Ashlee’s decision to enlist, that support turned to enthusiasm after listening to recruiter Master Sgt. Charles Loftland, left. The Seattle couple both enlisted in the Air Force Reserve.

Much to the husband’s surprise, he and his wife took their enlisted oath of office side-by-side at the 446th Airlift Wing headquarters building to join the Air Force Reserve at McChord Field, Nov. 30.

When Eric Todd visited the recruiting office in Tukwila, Wash., to support his wife Ashlee’s decision to enlist, that support turned to enthusiasm after listening to recruiter Master Sgt. Charles Loftland. Eric was sold. The Seattle couple would leave the office with something they didn’t come in with a commitment to the Air Force Reserve.

“I had often thought about joining the Air Force, but I never really had the courage,” Eric, a coordination center officer with the Transportation Security Administration in SeaTac, Wash. “Ashlee encouraged me to believe in myself. Sergeant Loftland made the Reserve sound so appealing, I felt we’d be a perfect fit.”

Loftland said Eric didn’t have any intention of joining the Reserve.

“But as I explained the Reserve mission and the benefits of being a Reservist, I could tell Eric got a lot more interested in serving,” he said.

Ashlee, a student who studies psychology at Argosy University in Seattle, said being in the Reserve together will help make their marriage grow even stronger.

“It’ll help him better understand what I’m going through, because he’s doing it to,” she said. “We’ll be able to relate to each other a lot better. When one of us has to deploy, the other one will understand the pains better, and it’ll be that much easier to go, because we’ll both know what it takes to deal with it.”

Eric said being in the military together will also make it easier for the couple to support one another.

“We’ll be able to share the same lifestyle,” he said. “If only one of us was in the Reserve and the other wasn’t, either she or I would feel sort of ‘left out.’ With us both going in, we can support each other more in our activities and we can appreciate and share what we’ve learned each new day.”

The married couple already has their sights set on long-term goals with the Reserve.

“I want to get a Ph.D.,” said Ashlee, who will enter the Reserve as an Airman with the 36th Aerial Port Squadron. “I would like to see myself integrating it with my military career.”

Eric chose the emergency management career field with the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron.

“I wanted to do something where I could respond in emergencies,” he said. “I’ve always wanted a job where I could help people. I’m kind of a dispatcher at my civilian job, so I wanted to be a responder in order to help, while staying out of harm’s way.”

Along with taking on the Reserve, the Todds also share their love of science fiction.

“We met through work, when we worked for TSA, but we found out that we were huge into sci- fi as we got to learn more about each other,” Eric said. “We were afraid to show our nerdy sides, but once we got comfortable with each other, we were able to share and find that we had a lot of similar interests.”

Ashlee said some of her former coworkers were Reservists who helped influence her decision to join.

“When I worked for TSA, I saw all these other amazing people with military backgrounds,” she said. I figured,’ you know what? I’m going to school right now. I want to serve, and I’m a big fan of volunteering.’ In my own way, the Reserve is how I’d like to give back.”