Air Commando highlight: Resilient resource advisor
Editor’s note: This feature is the eighth in a series of Air Commando spotlights at Cannon. The Airmen being highlighted are recent Diamond Sharp and Hard Charger Award winners.
link U.S. Air Force photo: Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Shae Lehr, 551st Special Operations Squadron resource advisor assistant, was selected as a Diamond Sharp Award recipient for the month of May because of her outstanding resilience and commitment to mentorship.
By Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
For the majority of the post-adolescent world, a couple months is a relatively short period of time. It equates to approximately 40 working days, eight weekends and four paydays. Looking back on the minutes, days and years that make up a life, most would say two months is scarcely longer than a blink.
For Senior Airman Shae Lehr, 551st Special Operations Squadron resource advisor assistant and Diamond Sharp recipient for the month of May, a couple months was everything.
“About 1.5 years ago I started experiencing health problems,” the Wisconsin native said. “I was passing out inexplicably, which is not ideal for someone who is training to be an aerial gunner.”
After medical tests in the local area came back inconclusive, Lehr travelled to San Antonio, Texas in the hope of discovering the source of her symptoms.
“Out of the blue I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness,” Lehr said. “I had pulmonary embolisms, or blood clots, in my chest which could travel to my brain at any time.”
Contrary to every pop culture reference known to man, Lehr did not burn through her savings, draft a bucket list and begin a cross-continental adventure; she went back to work.
“Despite the hardships I was facing, there were many good moments to carry me through,” Lehr said; “meeting and marrying my husband, training to become an aerial gunner, and even Basic Military Training, which I once believed to be the single dumbest decision I’d ever made, had become a series of hilarious memories. I wasn’t ready to leave the Air Force just yet.”
It’s been approximately 16 months since Lehr was given the diagnosis that would irrevocably alter her outlook on life. During those months, the senior airman was selected for medical separation, but hasn’t let life’s curve balls detract from her commitment to everyday excellence.
Finishing out her time with the 551 SOS as an assistant resource advisor, Lehr is tasked with conducting squadron inventory, tracking supplies, researching products prior to ordering, and troubleshooting issues pertaining to squadron purchases. She hasn’t let her personal goals fall by the wayside either and is currently working toward a degree in veterinary sciences.
“Sure, some days it’s hard to stay motivated,” Lehr said, “but in every situation you have to focus on your endgame. While I’m still a member of the 551 SOS, I will continue to make positive changes and do good things for the squadron I’ve been a part of the last 2.5 years.”
“If I had any advice to give it would be this: you get back what you put in,” Lehr continued. “Invest heavily in your own future and you’ll get where you want to be.”