Mother's career inspires Airman

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Victor J. Caputo
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Many Airmen count their family members among the most influential people in their lives.

For Senior Airman David Clauson, this is especially true: the 22nd Aerospace Medical Squadron medical technician's father is an Air Force veteran, three of his five brothers are serving or have served as Airmen, and both of his grandfathers and a great-grandfather also wore the Air Force uniform.

This pride in service isn't exclusive to the men in the Clauson family, though. David's mother, Capt. Dawn Clauson, is an active duty nurse assigned to the 99th Medical Operations Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

"She was definitely part of what influenced me to join the military," said David. "She motivated me in my career and has shown me that if she can make it through deployments and deal with the stresses of being active duty, I can do it myself."

While Dawn was completing her bachelor's degree in nursing in 2005, she frequently received recruitment letters from the Army, Navy and Air Force.

"They all stated age was not an issue," she said. "I'm a very healthy person, so I asked my two sons who were in the Air Force at the time what they thought about it."

Her sons told her she would enjoy the medical side of the Air Force and encouraged her to join. Dawn answered the call to duty and commissioned in June 2006 at the age of 45 years old.

David wanted to follow in the footsteps of his family members, and he ended up enlisting in 2011, where he was sworn in by none other than his own mother.

"He is so proud that he made me come to [his basic training] graduation in uniform," said Dawn.

The heritage passed down from the time her father and grandfather spent in the Air Force pushed Dawn to not only be patriotic in her own right, but to inspire her children.

"[My husband] Rick and I believe everyone would gain through at least one term of active duty service," she said. "We encouraged them all to serve their country."

David is currently training to become an independent duty medical technician, and he credits much of his determination to his mother.

"Not only has she taught me life lessons when I was child, she's continuing to do so today through her own Air Force career," he said. "It brings me a great amount of pride to serve alongside my mother."