Long Blue Line: Meet Cadet 3rd Class Thomas Chandler
By Staff Reports, Aug. 27, 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 Thomas Chandler:
What’s your first memory associated with the Air Force?
I was born at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, and the very first memories I have of the Air Force are watching F-16s takeoff and land at the end of the runway at Luke. Just looking up and realizing that this is what my dad did. It was inspiring. I have used that as motivation for my future goals.
What do you think of when you hear “Long Blue Line”?
When I hear “Long Blue Line,” I think of all of those people who have gone before us and who have sacrificed so much in service to our country. I realize that we, as cadets, will always have those people to learn from and reach out to. It is a support system forever based on the camaraderie of the Air Force, and our brother and sisters in arms.
Why did you want to come to the Academy?
I wanted to attend the Academy because I wanted to do something meaningful with my life, and give back to the country that has given me so much. I have grown up in the Air Force my entire life and have been afforded so many opportunities for which I am very grateful. Listening to stories from both my father, retired Gen. Carrol H. Chandler, Class of 1974, and my brother, Capt. Carl M. Chandler, Class of 2012, I knew USAFA really felt like the right fit for me. It is what I want to do with my life. It feels like an adventure.
What did your family think of your decision to attend?
My family, of course, could not have been more supportive. To be a part of what they went through and to experience the things that they did was a huge part of my motivation. To be forever interlocked with them and to have that bond is a great feeling.
Is there a person who inspired you to be a part of the Long Blue Line?
My father was my main inspiration for me to attend the Academy and to be a part of the “Long Blue Line”. To understand all of the things that he has accomplished and all the lives he has touched throughout his career, made me want to do the exact same thing. I also looked to my brother, who is serving as a Force Support Officer, and I was able to see what he went through while he was here, and I had always wanted to be a part of it.
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 forever bonded to those who have gone before me, as well as those who will come after. It is a legacy of service to this nation. It means that I will always have people who can be counted on and from whom I can learn.
What keeps you motivated throughout your time here at the Academy?
Times at the Academy can be tough, but I am always able to turn to my father and brother for help and advice. It is motivating to know that we share the same struggle and that they made it through, so I can too.