SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE (KAUZ) - An airman that leads thousands every day at Sheppard Air Force Base shared her inspirational story with Newschannel 6 in honor of National Women's Month.
Her journey began as a need to protect her family and has now led to a life of protecting our country.
"Once you have a child, your whole world is about making sure that child is off to the best possible start," U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and SAFB 82ND Training Wing Commander Michelle Jackson said.
In 1994, she joined the military at the age of 25 to protect her son.
"The environment that we were in it wasn't going to be the best outcome from him," CMSgt Jackson said.
In 1999, four years after graduating from Keesler AFB in Mississippi, she was stationed in Germany.
"That was a language barrier," CMSgt Jackson said. "I couldn't drive home to see my family right away, using the telephones during that time was a little challenging."
Everyone around her was too young and the airman around her age she had a difficult time talking to them.
"I didn't have the rank to hang out with the non-commission officers," she said.
She said a civilian couple helped her strap on her boots and step forward as a leader
"They kind of took me in and helped me adjust to our air force," CMSgt Jackson said. "They taught me how to really integrate into our air force as an older airman."
She amplified that strength when she was deployed in support of Operation Joint Guard and Joint Forge. She also deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
"It is a little scary your first deployment, it is a little scary because you just don't know what you may or may not be walking into."
In 2012, the young girl from San Angelo, TX found herself in a position she said she could only have dreamed of. She worked in the nation's capital for a White House Communications Agency.
"Being able to travel the world in support of our president and our vice president was absolutely an incredible highlight in my career," she said.
CMSgt Jackson said if you work hard then you will be able to achieve your dreams too.
She said her son is now serving our country too but he is doing it in the U.S. Army.