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Through Airmen's Eyes: Security forces Airman 'grateful' to serve

Senior Airman Jonathon Bussard, a native of Corcoran, Calif., serves with the 455th Expeditionary Security Force Squadron in eastern Afghanistan. Even though he was only in grade school during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bussard said they played a part in his decision to serve. (U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Nick Morales)

Senior Airman Jonathon Bussard, a native of Corcoran, Calif., serves with the 455th Expeditionary Security Force Squadron in eastern Afghanistan. Even though he was only in grade school during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bussard said they played a part in his decision to serve. (U.S. Army photo/Staff Sgt. Nick Morales)

BAGRAM, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories and commentaries focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)

People enlist in the military for a variety of reasons, ranging from money for college to work experience. But some do so for honor. Senior Airman Jonathon Bussard is one of those guys.

Stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Bussard is currently deployed to the 455th Expeditionary Security Force Squadron here. The 455th ESFS is responsible for security of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Bussard was in grade school on Sept. 11, 2001, and watched the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on TV. Even at such a young age, he said he felt the call to duty.

"Seeing it happen and then seeing ground zero had a huge impact on me," said Bussard, a Corcoran, Calif., native. "Coming from a military family who always had something to fight for and believe in, that definitely impacted my decision."

Bussard, who is now 24 years old, joined the Air Force in September 2006, right out of high school. Since then, his job as a security force specialist has been to protect the people, property and resources of the U.S. government. He said he chose this profession out of a sense of duty to country and the desire to support a greater cause.

Bussard's father also served in the Air Force, so he wanted to keep the family-bond of service alive.

The path of entering military service is one that leads to uncharted territory, said Bussard. With the decision to serve, a person expects change.

"I needed to do something life changing, and this is the best place to do it," he said.

A six-year veteran of the Air Force with three deployments overseas, Bussard never questions his decision to serve.

"I'm very grateful for it," said Bussard. "It's been the best decision I've ever made my entire life."

With a month left in Afghanistan, he's looking forward to being reunited with his wife Jamie Lynn and his infant daughter. Bussard said he draws strength and focus from the support of his family.

"I talk to my wife regularly," said Bussard. "She's the one who puts that smile on my face and makes me realize who I'm fighting for."