TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The goals and aspirations of Airman 1st Class Luis Luna are lofty. However, his determination and dedication toward attaining those goals is apparent within moments of meeting him. They beam on the forefront of his personality.
Growing up in the small bayside community of Port Lavaca, Texas, Luna grew up in a military family, but wearing the nation’s uniform was not always his desire.
“Prior to joining the Air Force, I was in nursing school and paying out of pocket for my education,” said Luna. “I’ve always wanted the ability to help people and a lot of my family is in the medical field, I think that’s what drew me to pursuing medicine.”
Unable to continue paying for college, Luna decided to forgo the traditional path to enter the medical field, becoming the first person in his family to enlist in the United States Air Force. Although medical career fields littered his dream sheet, Luna was slotted as an electrical systems journeyman – the fifth choice on his list.
“I wanted to make sure that when I have children they don’t ever have to struggle and I can give them the life I never had,” Luna said when asked about joining the Air Force. “But I love it. It has honestly changed my life.
“Learning the electrical field was pretty complicated at first,” he added. “In tech school, the first two block I almost failed. At that time, I didn’t know if this was for me. But I ended up working hard, got the basics down and it became a lot easier.”
After completing technical school, Luna was assigned to the 60th Civil Engineer Squadron, where he currently serves within the squadron’s fire alarm section.
His duties include performing preventive maintenance inspections on 250 fire alarm systems supporting three airframes and partner units located on the installation.
“We’re pretty much busy all day, going into different work centers, working on alarm systems and ensuring fire safety,” said Luna while pointing to the scheduling board.
Luna’s shop is also responsible for conducting airfield lighting inspections and troubleshooting and repairing low-voltage electrical deficiencies in more than 400 buildings.
“Without us, everyone is in the dark,” he said.
Outside of his work center, Luna continues to pursue his dream to work within the medical field. He is currently enrolled in three summer courses in order to complete his associate’s degree in sports medicine.
“I stay busy,” he said with a laugh. “My schedule is pretty rough, but my shop leaders know how much effort I have been putting in and are very supportive.”
Luna is nearing the completion of all necessary prerequisites to apply for the Department of Defense’s physician assistant program. While there is no guarantee of being selected for one of these highly competitive commissioning programs, Luna plans to excel to the best of his ability within his newfound skill set and trade.
“If I can’t get into one of the medical commissioning programs, I’ll just stay enlisted and work my way up through the career field,” he said. “My goal is either commission or become a chief master sergeant one day. I know that I put in the work, I can do it.”