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Ex-Maderan tells of life with Air Force

This is a letter for the editor about my recent milestones after leaving Madera. My name is Brenda Carrillo, I graduated Madera High in 2008. I enlisted in the Air Force my junior year in the hopes of finding adventure.

Today I’m one month away from graduating Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a bachelor of science in aeronautics, minors of flight, and aviation safety.

My first assignment after basic training and was at Holloman, AFB, New Mexico. One stop light, population 30,000, lots of tumbleweeds. I spent two years in “The land of enchantment,” before heading to my next assignment, Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

I spent four amazing years there trying to spend every day soaking in every opportunity I could. I became a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and volunteered my spare time doing anything with children. Learned to surf, etc. After a little over six years in the Air Force, I transferred to the Air National Guard, Savannah, Georgia. While serving the Georgia ANG, I simultaneously attended Embry-Riddle full time. I received all of my flight ratings through multi-engine commercial and today I aspire to become a military pilot.

My sacrifice was minimal in comparison to the opportunities I’ve been afforded. Living away from home has made me appreciate everything, the valley’s rolling mountains, agriculture, diversity, and especially my family.

I plan to return to California with my continued commitment to the ANG.

— Staff Sgt. Brenda Carrillo. Air National Guard, Savannah, Georgia

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