DUKE FIELD, Fla. --
Many parents worry when one of their children decides to join the military, but what if all three of your children made that choice?
Master Sgt. James Horne, 919th Special Operations Wing occupational safety specialist, said he never imagined all three of his children would join the Air Force.Horne said there really weren’t any clear indications any of his children were planning on joining.
“Ashley asked about the military a few times throughout high school, but she was interested in medical technology school and attended one after graduating,” said Horne.
“After reaching the hands-on portion of training, she was looking for a change but was uncertain about what she wanted to do. That’s when she began asking me for more details about the Air Force and mentioned she was considering joining. She decided to join the Air Force in 2011 so she could see the world.”
Since enlisting, Ashley has deployed, she’s completed a tour overseas and has visited Europe and Germany. She’s now a staff sergeant at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.
Joining her in independence via the Air Force was Horne’s third-born, “Jay.”
“Jay joined Army Junior ROTC during his sophomore year of high school and received several accolades for his leadership skills,” said Horne. “In his senior year, he was selected as an element leader then squad leader…he was one of the top cadets. I was deployed at the time, so we corresponded by phone and letters regarding his decision to join the Air Force. I returned from deployment in time to see him graduate and then he joined the Air Force in July 2015.”
Now, Jay is a senior airman at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
Horne’s second child, Jasmine, joined in November 2015 only a few months after her brother.
“She did not intend to join the Air Force,” Horne said. “She didn’t want to go far from home so she enrolled in [college]. While in school, she began talking with me about the Air Force. I answered her questions, then she said ‘Dad, I am going to join the Air Force, I’ve already talked to a recruiter.’ I asked what made her want to do a thing like that, and she explained how she just wanted to give it a try to become more independent.”
Her father said she found that independence.
“She did well during basic training and tech school,” said Horne. “She now works with aircrew members and enjoys being able to support their mission. She’s also involved in her community volunteering with the local Big Brother Big Sister Program.”
Jasmine, an airman first class at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, said, “My Dad was always the influence. Growing up, we were never pressured to join the military. Our parents just always wanted the best for us and supported us in whatever we did.”
With four family members serving in the military, keeping in touch can be difficult.
“All of us keep in touch by phone calls, email, and (video calls),” Horne explained. In 2014 we were all separated during the holidays - I was deployed and Ashley was in Turkey. But in 2015 we all spent the holidays together in San Antonio and got to go see Jasmine graduate basic (military) training.
“It was such a great feeling,” Ashley said about watching her sister graduate basic training. “She’s doing great things in her life since joining the world’s greatest Air Force to serve with her siblings and father makes me proud.”
Jasmine was happy her family was there.
“Being able to see my family after graduation was pretty exciting,” said Jasmine, “I was just glad they were all there to support me.”
“My wife Rewa and I never imagined while raising them they would consider joining the Air Force, but we are so proud of them,” said Horne.
Rewa echoed those comments.
“I think it’s been a good thing for all of them and a great way of advancing their lives,” said Rewa. “They have become more responsible. They have shown me the character they were raised with for so many years.”
Ashley, Jasmine, Jay and their father continue to support each other’s careers, not only as family but as fellow Airmen.
(Editor’s Note: Tech. Sgt. Jonathan McCallum, 919th SOW public affairs, also contributed to this story).