Sweet Home New Mexico: Your duty station is what you make of it

I grew up in what was once a small town just outside of Montgomery, Ala. It has grown through the years, but was once a town about the size of Clovis. Montgomery is home to Maxwell Air Force Base, so growing up I crossed paths with several Air Force families coming through Maxwell for schooling or an assignment. People not from there, and there for just a short amount of time, seemed to be able to quickly pick out all of the things about Alabama that maybe weren’t the most desirable things. I listened to people complain about the heat, complain about the humidity, complain about strange Southern customs and ways, complain, complain, complain. I vowed, beginning as a young teenager, that I would never do that; that wherever life took me, I would not complain about where I found myself, for wherever that may be, it would be someone’s home they probably dearly loved.

My husband’s first assignment in the Air Force brought us here, to Clovis. I had never even heard of Cannon Air Force Base and had to Google it to find out where in the country it was. Since I’ve been here, I’ve heard a lot of complaining about Clovis and the base in general by some Air Force families and to be perfectly frank, it really irritates me.

I understand it would be wonderful if we had a Target, Sams and Chick-Fil-A here. It would be wonderful if the BX and Commissary were a little bigger. It would be fantastic to have more restaurant choices on a Friday night, and it would be great to have a larger mall and a few more options for activities for young kids aside from school and sports. I guess for some people, those are the things that determine happiness.

While Alabama is where I’m from, Clovis is my home. I absolutely refuse to wish any part of my life away because of the absence of a Target and an Olive Garden. When my husband and I decided to make the Air Force our career, we decided we would be lucky if half the assignments we got were ones that we wanted. We knew we were signing up for a career where much of the life we would live would not be our own. I guess that’s why I’m so flabbergasted to see and hear of Air Force members and their families so vehemently unhappy living here. I won’t miss the windstorms and the stench of cow manure that can literally knock you down some days, but it’s amazing that when you look for the good in a place, you can find it. Choose happiness, folks. Life is too short for anything else.