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Airman Spotlight: A heart full of giving

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Juliet Louden
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force has three core values: integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. An important part of service before self is finding the worth in others. An Airman’s chance of having a positive experience and succeeding in their military career can be greatly impacted by an individual who finds the worth in others and makes it their mission to help others.

One person who exemplifies this can be seen during Unit Training Assemblies at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio. Senior Airman Jasmine Handy is an operations management helper assigned to 910th Civil Engineer Squadron and a member of the 910th Airlift Wing Base Honor Guard.

Handy’s inspiration to help others started when she was a child.

“As a kid, I was in foster care, and I was grateful to be in a good home,” said Handy. “I knew when I grew up I was going to help people just like my foster mom did. She helped me and made a big impact on my life. My community also stepped in during my time of help when I needed it.”

The support Handy experienced growing up led her to continue a life of service for others, which is evident in her career choices on both the civilian and military side.

Joining the military motivated Handy to cross the finish line and graduate from Youngstown State University in the Fall of 2022. Part of her drive to graduate was her dream to become an officer in the Air Force Reserve, and eventually, a chaplain.

In basic training, Handy often lent a compassionate ear to other Airmen.

“I recall during boot camp how several of the young ladies came to me for advice and encouragement,” said Handy. “They respected and admired my strong faith. I wanted to have the opportunity to do this on a greater scale as a chaplain.”

Though she is not a chaplain yet, Handy extends her giving by serving in the 910th AW’s honor guard. This is an additional duty that requires selflessness and dedication to the military custom of honoring fallen service members.

“Jasmine’s giving personality is part of the nature of the honor guard,” said Maj. Scott Allen, officer in charge of the 910th AW Base Honor Guard. “She optimizes the portion of the honor guard charge that emphasizes that regardless of what is happening, a member is trained and dedicated.”

Her hard work and cheerful personality are also noticed by the commander of the 910th CES, Maj. Tiffany VanDenBroeke.

“Airman Handy not only excels in her career field, but she leads the squadron through key morale programs,” said VanDenBroeke. “She is always smiling and always ready to help. Her enthusiasm for her job and her squadron are evident every day, and we are so thrilled she is part of our squadron.”

Another facet of Handy’s kindheartedness is her concern for the well-being of new Airmen.

“I have a huge heart for new, incoming Airmen that come into the squadron,” said Handy. “I remember coming in and feeling so overwhelmed and not knowing what to do, so I make it my goal to let them feel immediately that we are here for you. It is important to let new Airmen know they are not alone and someone is in their corner.”

On the civilian side, Handy plans to utilize her bachelor’s degree in social work to become a licensed social worker.

“Having the desire to become a social worker came naturally because I knew I wanted to help people,” said Handy. “My passion is to work as a family counselor and work with veterans. I want to let them know they can come and feel safe to share and open up and know that I genuinely care.”

Handy wants older people who are thinking about joining the military to know that it is never too late to join. Handy herself did not join the Air Force until the age of 37.

“I didn’t look at my age as awwww, it is too late,’” said Handy. “I felt this was a great time to go forth with experience and my passions and knowing what I wanted to do. I hit the ground running. I am grateful I didn’t allow my age to stop me or make me say it is too late, because it is not. It is not too late. We are all on different paths, and I am glad I’m on the path I am on and I look forward to the future.”

Handy’s personal mission is to make an impact on people’s lives, regardless of how big or small.

“I want to utilize the gifts, passions and skills that God has given me to impact and better another person’s life,” said Handy. “Even if it is just one, because we know so many needs in our world can sometimes be overwhelming, but just start with one.”