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 News Article

Face of Defense: Mother’s Career Inspires Airman

By Air Force Senior Airman Victor J. Caputo
22nd Air Refueling Wing

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan., March 11, 2015 – Many airmen count their family members among the most influential people in their lives.

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Air Force Capt. Dawn Clauson poses with her son, then-Air Force Airman 1st Class David Clauson, during his basic military training graduation at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, in 2011. Courtesy photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

For Air Force 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, Air Force Capt. Dawn Clauson, is a nurse assigned to the 99th Medical Operations Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

A Strong Influence

“She was definitely part of what influenced me to join the military,” Airman Clauson said of his mother. “She motivated me in my career and has shown me that if she can make through deployments and deal with the stresses of being [on] active duty, I can do it myself.”

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

“They all stated age was not an issue,” she added. “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. At age 45, she answered the call to duty and was commissioned in June 2006.

Following in Family’s Footsteps

Airman Clauson wanted to follow in the footsteps of his family members, and joined the Air Force in 2011. His mother administered his enlistment oath.

“He is so proud that he made me come to [his basic training] graduation in uniform,” Captain Clauson said.

The heritage passed down from the time her father and grandfather spent in the Air Force pushed her not only to be patriotic in her own right, but also to inspire her children, the captain said, adding that she and her husband, Rick, encouraged their children to serve because they believe everyone would gain through at least one term of active duty service.

Airman Clauson is training to become an independent-duty medical technician, and he credited 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.”


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