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Much to the husbands 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 Ashlees 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 didnt 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 wed be a perfect fit.
Loftland said Eric didnt 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.
Itll help him better understand what Im going through, because hes doing it to, she said. Well 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 itll be that much easier to go, because well 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.
Well be able to share the same lifestyle, he said. If only one of us was in the Reserve and the other wasnt, 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 weve 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. Ive always wanted a job where I could help people. Im kind of a dispatcher at my civilian job, so I wanted to be a responder in order to help, while staying out of harms 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? Im going to school right now. I want to serve, and Im a big fan of volunteering. In my own way, the Reserve is how Id like to give back.