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Airman joins at 36, finds pride as defender

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. --

Age is nothing but a number until we make it more than that.

Airman First Class Jason Morton, 21st Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at the age of 36 with bachelor and master’s degrees.

“One reason I choose to serve in our armed forces is because I am physically and mentally fit and I am able to do so,” Morton said. “There are so few Americans that are eligible for service and even fewer that take the opportunity. I had to become part of the solution and stand for those who are unable.”

Morton explained that he wants to eventually run for political office in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, but first he wanted to take the opportunity to physically stand for the ideas represented in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America.

When Morton contacted the Air Force officer recruiter, he was told he was too old.

“I had to accept that in this part of my life, if I was going to serve, it had to be now or never,” Morton said. “I then contacted an enlisted recruiter who walked me through the steps of joining the ranks of America’s greatest space and Air Force.”

Morton comes from a long line of family members that have served in the U.S. armed forces.

“I come from a legacy that I am now able to hand to my son,” he said. “The hardest part about this journey are the years I am sacrificing with my son, who is four years old.”

His son lives with his ex-wife and will be seven years old upon the completion of Morton’s military service. Morton says his first and last priority of each day is to video chat with him.

“The years we are sacrificing are worth the moment I am able to hand my son what my dad handed me and what his dad handed him: a feeling that this country is just as much his as it is anyone’s,” Morton said.

Morton chose the security forces career field when he joined and was stationed at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colorado, right out of technical school.

“My favorite part of being a security forces member is the brother and sisterhood,” Morton said. “This bond is unlike anything I have been a part of or experienced.”

Morton says he looks forward to being on post every day and meeting diverse and interesting people.

“Security forces is full of amazing people, and I am proud to be a member of this elite group,” Morton said. “These men and women serve with honor and pride in the snow, rain and heat, and on holidays. Through it all, they show up every day ready to protect and defend against any odds or circumstances that may come. We find and draw strength from each other, and I am proud to stand with these men and women and be counted amongst their ranks.”

Aside from being a defender, Morton is working on his doctoral degree in education.

“I see the set schedule provided by the Air Force as an advantage to be used at my discretion,” Morton said.

He explained he wants to make the most out of his time in the military and return home ready to lead and empower people.

“Ultimately, life is about choices, and I choose not to be in the category of those men that provide their opinion from the comfort of the safety provided by others,” Morton said. “I want to be considered amongst those who led from the front and embodied the ideas we hold true as a free people.”

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