Evan Bowden is an Air Force Brat


Evan Bowden in his ROTC uniform. Picture taken by: Chrysten Burleigh

When Sophomore Evan Bowden was little, his dad was being deployed to different states from being in the U.S. Air Force. The trips were two to three months long and Bowden missed his dad. From birth to the age of seven, Bowden’s dad was fabricating airplane parts, meaning he helped repair and make certain kinds of airplanes for the McConnell Air Force Base.

Around the age of 10, Bowden’s dad became a Principle at an Air Force Leadership School in Biloxi, Mississippi. Students with behavioral issues had Mr. Bowden as their right-hand man to overcome the problems they were facing. In junior high, the drill team caught Bowden’s attention and he became intrigued in what it would be like to join the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, also known as JROTC. Evan took time to think about joining. Growing up and seeing what it’s like to be involved and to have the respect of others, Evan wanted to make his father proud and wanted to follow in his footsteps.

“Since I made the choice to join ROTC, my whole family has been really supportive. My mom says she’s proud of me all the time and she constantly says I’m just like my dad. When I was younger, my dad was what little kids would call their superhero, everything he did I wanted to try,” Bowden said.

Evan and many other students found that in JROTC it takes strength. It also makes time to endeavor a career that will develop one’s personal aspects of what it’s really like to be in the Air Force along with his dad. After being in JROTC for a year and a half, Bowden is now an airman in the WHS JROTC program. Evan’s dad told him to pay attention to all the little details that ROTC provided because in basic training of the Air Force, detail is an important ideal. Evan conveyed that the lessons he learns in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps will go with him through life.

“I learned to respect my peers and everyone around them, as well as I learned the fundamentals of leadership,” Bowden said.

In 2015, Mr. Bowden got the deification to honor the students who had passed and graduated leadership school and Evan got to attend.

“Seeing my dad honoring those who had graduated made me have more respect and intuition for him, the responsibilities I get for being in ROTC and the recognition that comes along with it is the best part of my experience in the program,” Bowden said.

“I’m very proud of Evan, everyday he surprises me more and more. The older he becomes, the more he reminds me of myself at his age. I am confident that he will grow up to be a successful adult just as I have tried to show him,” Mr. Bowden said.

Evan says being called an Air Force Brat comes from being a son of a parent who served full-time in the United States Armed Forces, and can also refer to the subculture and lifestyle of such families.  

Bowden said,  “In my experience of being in ROTC so far, I want my future career when I enter the U.S. Air Force to be an officer. After my senior year, I plan on enlisting at a four-year University, and although I’m not exactly sure which one yet, I just want to make my dad happy and I want to continue being the Air Force Brat that my dad has raised me to be.”