INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFNS) -- Each month, the Defense Department and installations across the world celebrate the diversity that service members bring to the armed forces. For two Airmen here, not only did they celebrate their Hawaiian-Filipino heritage during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, but they also celebrated their family and military bonds.
For Master Sgt. Chasitity Gullatt, the 39th Air Base Wing Equal Opportunity superintendent, this year's heritage month celebration was a little different then her previous ones. Unlike in the past, where she would celebrate with her friends and fellow service members, this year Gullatt celebrated with her brother, Staff Sgt. Bryant Guillermo, a 39th Security Forces Squadron vault storage area supervisor, who recently had a permanent change of station to Incirlik Air Base.
The month afforded both service members a chance to reflect on their heritage and remember why they joined the Air Force.
According to both Airmen, who are serving at the same base for the first time, the reason they joined the Air Force was inspiration from their father's service in the U.S. Army, as well as the opportunities and diversity it offered.
"I believe diversity is one of the greatest things that you can have in an organization; one person's strengths can be another person's weaknesses," Guillermo said.
Along with the influence from her father, Gullatt also stated that she was motivated to join to be the first female in her family to serve. Gullat also said that even though it was tough in the beginning being a female in the military, the experience has been overall beneficial due to the diversity and opportunities she has experienced.
"We all have one common goal and we all share the same core values," she said. "Being able to be a group of diverse people and still wear the same uniform is really an amazing feature the Air Force has to offer."
On the other hand, Guillermo, prior to joining, lived in a small town in Kentucky with the rest of his Hawaiian-Filipino family. He said that he owes his career decision to his sister.
"Honestly, most of my life I have not had a plan," Guillermo said. "I went to a (college) open house, not realizing the financial obligations that underlie with it. Right after that I didn't know what I wanted to do and my sister (Gullatt) pushed me in the direction of the military."
Since Guillermo joined, he explained how much the military has helped him.
"I have had a lot of great opportunities to do and see things I would've never seen if I hadn't had joined," Guillermo said. "Travel was one of the biggest things I wanted to do."
Now that Guillermo is at Incirlik AB, he has been able to do some of the traveling he wanted and has gained a new perspective of being in the military with his sister.
Gullatt said that now that she and her brother are stationed together, it gives them a chance to share their Air Force experiences and knowledge.
"Being in different helping agencies helps us to see how things relate together," Gullatt said. "To be able to take care of him feels good. I think it's an awesome opportunity for him that we are able to be stationed together."
In the near future, Gullatt will PCS from Incirlik to her new duty station, while Guillermo stays behind to carry on the family legacy started by his sister.