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    Like father, like son – serving their country becomes family tradition



    Story by Senior Airman Gerald Willis  

    70th ISR Wing

    When you were a child, who was the first person you looked up to? Who was that someone who had everything figured out, could do no wrong, and you wanted to be when you grew up?
    For Lt. Col. Scott Hernandez, 70th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing deputy resource manager, that person was his father – an old-fashioned, hard-working military man.
    “My father has always been my role model and the hardest working man I know,” Scott said. “He came into the Air Force after two years of college, with a family, no house or furniture and started building our lives.”
    Because Scott is an officer, a unique opportunity recently presented itself; he was able to preside over his father Alfonso’s retirement ceremony. His father finished his career as a chief master sergeant with 28 years of service in the Air Force Reserve.
    “My father was my first salute when I graduated from the Air Force Academy,” Scott said.

    “All these years later, I got to be there to retire my father; it was an absolutely surreal moment for me and everyone involved.”
    Through the ceremony, the proverbial torch passed from one generation to the next.
    “I could not have asked for a better way to be retired than to be up there (on stage) with my son,” Alfonso said. “My son is just like me, but the tenth iteration; new and improved in every way and I am so proud of everything he has accomplished. There is no one else I would rather have stood on that stage next to me for this moment.”
    Scott said best part of the ceremony was getting to hear all the stories about then Senior Airman Alfonso Hernandez, Jr., circa 1984.
    “My father’s first supervisor was able to come out and speak during the ceremony, which was awesome for me to see and listen to,” Scott said. “Hearing stories and being able to read his first enlisted performance report, which read ‘has a great sense of humor,’ was just incredible.”
    Among family and friends, Scott and Alfonso celebrated a dignified and honorable career.
    “The stories recanted were all in good fun and it meant a lot to me,” said Alfonso. “Getting to recall past decisions, small things that happened along the way and other stories from my career with my family and friends was moving.”
    Throughout his 28 years of service to the nation, Alfonso passed along many bits of advice, including the importance of a good work ethic to his son.
    “My father taught me so much growing up, but there is one that always stuck with me – he taught me to work as hard as I could while young; to frontload everything early on so that when you are older you have the freedom to live the life you want,” Scott said.



    Date Taken: 03.25.2019
    Date Posted: 04.01.2019 09:15
    Story ID: 316363
    Location: FORT MEADE, MD, US 
    Hometown: PANAMA CITY, FL, US

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