Senior Master Sgt. Monica Aragon Airman Spotlight

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Chris Schepers
  • 175th Wing


Why did you decide to join?  Do you come from a military family?

Neither of my parents served in the military, however, my maternal grandfather served in the Navy and my paternal grandfather served in the Army Air Corps as a gunner on the B-24 and B-17. He is featured in a book called Arizona’s Hispanic Flyboys.

I decided to join the military because I was a single mom of two kids and felt this career choice would not only provide some stability for my family but would give me the structure I needed to succeed at the time.  I have never regretted my decision and will always advocate for people to join the military, especially the Air National Guard, I think it’s the best kept secret.

What has been your favorite moment or part of serving? Why is it important that you serve?

My favorite part of serving has been the countless relationships and friendships I’ve made along the way.  I’m still friends with people from basic training so I think that says a lot about the camaraderie in the military, it’s unlike any other organization in the world and I’m so proud and happy to be part of it.

Originally, my “WHY” was to give my kids a better, more stable life and that still holds true for the most part, except now, where I’m currently at in my career, my “WHY” has slightly shifted.  It’s important that I continue to serve because I enjoy mentoring airmen and building future leaders.  There’s a true sense of gratification when I see airmen succeed and I enjoy being part of that process.

Favorite quote or saying?

“Never give anyone a reason to tell you no” – which basically means, be the best version of yourself all the time and you will be successful in anything you do.

My favorite Spanish saying is “Mereces lo que sueñas” which means you deserve what you dream ~ so dream big, nothing is off the table.

What does this observance mean to you? How have you celebrated?

Personally, this observance means a lot.  Not many people can trace their ancestry back to when their family immigrated to the United States, however, I can.  My great-grandfather immigrated from Sonora, Mexico seeking a better life for his family.  He survived off watermelons growing in the fields during his trek to Tucson, which is about 80 miles north of the US/Mexico border.  I love my culture and I think it’s important for others to learn about the various cultures of the people we work with.  That’s what makes this country what it is; we’re a melting pot of different colors, backgrounds, experiences, and traditions.  Each culture brings something special and unique and I think that should be celebrated, so I appreciate the observance.

How has your heritage influenced your time in the Maryland Air National Guard?

My heritage has absolutely influenced my time in the Maryland Air National Guard.  The story of my great-grandfather continues to influence many aspects of my life to include my career.  Being hardworking, dedicated, and humble is everything I was taught growing up – I was taught to be thankful and not take for granted the sacrifices my ancestors made so that I could be here, serving in the Maryland Air National Guard.  I hope to influence all airman and soldiers in the Maryland National Guard, especially the ones that look like me.  “Diversity is about all of us and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together” – Jacqueline Woodson