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- It's a first! Air Force basic trainee becomes grandad
It's a first! Air Force basic trainee becomes grandad
Tricare for life is cool but how long is this guy gonna be around?
LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Tx. — With recruitment at historic lows, the Air Force is now accepting “rainbows” with crow’s feet, gray hair, and a marriage certificate old enough to enlist. Boot camp has become a place where even grandparents can join the men & women who defend our country.
Basic Trainee John Alten, age 42, is learning to be an Airman at the 321st Training Squadron. “The other guys in my flight call me ‘Gramps’ because one of my daughters gave birth a week after I arrived,” he said.
Alten is the first basic trainee to turn grandparent thanks to the Air Force’s age limit increase after it missed FY23 recruiting goals. “I’m exactly as old as Chris Evans,” he said. “We both were born on June 13– er, 13 June 1981. If he can be a movie captain soldier, then I can be a slick sleeve airman.”
Although he is the first Air Force basic trainee to welcome a grandchild, Alten insists he’s not unique. “My recruiter told me lots of 34-year-old grandparents from Mississippi enlist in the Army,” he said.
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