Long Blue Line: Meet Cadet 3rd Class Faith Van Havel
By Staff Reports, Aug. 30, 2018
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — (Editor’s Note) For the 2018 Air Force Football season, we have designated theme weeks tied to our six home games, each highlighting a domain of strength and excellence at our Academy. This week, August 27 – September 8, we honor the Long Blue Line and showcase a proud history of selfless service in the Air Force and beyond.
Interview with Cadet 3rd Class Faith Van Havel:
What’s your first memory associated with the Air Force?
My first memory associated with the Air Force was in 2003 when my father deployed to Kuwait for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was very young and just remembered that my father had to leave for a while though I did not understand why. As I have gotten older, I understand the gravity of what he did and the risks he was accepting.
What do you think of when you hear “Long Blue Line”?
When I hear “Long Blue Line,” I think of all of those who have joined the Air Force ahead of me, those who will come in after me, and especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service. When I was in basic, I remember being told to “not disappoint” those who had come before me. I thought it was just the cadre attempting to be intimidating but now I have realized the seriousness and dignity of the “Long Blue Line” that I have joined.
Why did you want to come to the Academy?
I wanted to come to the Air Force Academy because of my desire to serve my nation and protect its fundamental principles of liberty and freedom from the assaults of the world. I chose Air Force over West Point and Annapolis because I want to fly and am more interested in the mission of the Air Force over the Army and Navy.
What did your family think of your decision to attend?
My family has been nothing but supportive of me coming to the Academy. My father, being a graduate, knew the challenge I had chosen for myself, and despite that, he encouraged me to attend, knowing the four years of work are worth it. My younger sister has seen me as a bit of an inspiration and, after hearing what cadet life is like, hopes to attend the Academy in the future.
Is there a person who inspired you to be a part of the Long Blue Line?
Both of my parents were my inspiration to join the Long Blue Line. They both were officers and have achieved more in their lives than they thought possible through joining the Air force.
What does it mean to you to be a part of the Long Blue Line?
Being a part of the Long Blue Line to me means that I am responsible for carrying on the heritage and dignity of the Air Force for myself, the new generations to come, and in respect for those who came before me. I know that by accepting this responsibility there is a chance that I may not return home, but that is a consequence that I have accepted in order to protect my nation.
What keeps you motivated throughout your time here at the Academy?
My family, my faith, and thoughts of the future keep me motivated in the hard times here. There has never been a day where calling my family has made me feel worse or unmotivated. I know that, even in the hardest times here, there is a future for me and I cannot become so focused on stressed out about what is happening all around me to the point I forget why I even came here in the first place.