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From the valley to the falls

Coming from the valleys of Los Angeles County, Senior Airman Abril Martinez-Vasquez, 341st Security Forces Squadron arming use of force monitor, wanted better for herself and decided to join the Air Force.

Senior Airman Abril Martinez-Vasquez, 341st Security Forces Squadron arming use of force monitor, poses for a picture August 13, 2020, in her office on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. She has been serving as a proud defender for almost three years now. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Chiyanna L. White)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Coming from the valleys of Los Angeles County, Senior Airman Abril Martinez-Vasquez, 341st Security Forces Squadron arming use of force monitor, wanted better for herself and decided to join the Air Force.

“Pomona is a low-income city where you have to work for what you want,” said Martinez-Vasquez. “It’s not the nicest and there’s a lot of gang violence so that made me want to get out and do something better with my life.”

Despite the circumstances, she loves how growing up in that environment taught her how to work hard for what she wants.

Although she is the first in her family to join the military, she isn’t the first to work in law enforcement. Her brother works for the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department and has always been a role model for her.

“My parents divorced when I was three,” she said. “I was raised by a single mother but my older brother took on the father figure for my sister and I.

“He finished school and is now working on his Master’s degree, which motivates me to do better,” she continued. “Every time I set a new goal for myself, he says ‘Believe in yourself and don’t give up.’”

She has been serving as a proud defender for almost three years now.

“My job is important because we are the ones that keep the base safe,” she said. “We deny unauthorized access to the installation and protect and secure our Airmen and assets.”

She says there are several other jobs available by being in security forces, including being a K-9 handler, a Raven and OSI.

“Some of my goals are to finish my degree and work with OSI so when I get out of the military, I can apply for the FBI,” she said.

Her passion for law enforcement led to her choosing to work in security forces.

While in the Air Force, Martinez-Vasquez is striving to accomplish her goals and hopefully one day work for the FBI.

“I’m doing this not only for me, but for my family as well,” she says. “I just want to make them proud.”
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