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The Meyers of McChord Field

Air Force family to the core

Meet The Meyers: Staff Sgt. Brandon Meyer (top left), Tech Sgt. Tim Meyer, Cheryl and Chief Master Sgt. Tim Meyer. U.S. Air Force photo by Jake Chappelle

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On McChord Field, there's a surname that might just be synonymous with pride and loyalty: Meyer.

"We had met with recruiters from different branches and what drove us to the Air Force was a lasting, first impression - the recruiter was very professional and it won me over," explained Chief Master Sgt. Tim Meyer, superintendent for the 446th Airlift Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

For six years, high school sweethearts Cheryl and Tim Meyer served alongside each other in the Air Force. Even now, over three decades later, Cheryl admits that she "couldn't imagine a better start than that for young people," which is why it should come as no surprise that the desire to serve has been passed down.

While their youngest son, Jeremy, chose not to enter the military, both of the older boys followed in the family tradition and enlisted.

"Both Cheryl and my continuous conversations with them about thinking ahead - especially when neither seemed inclined to head to college - was why it made sense that they turned to the military. It was always a part of their life," Meyer said. "I also believe we led by positive examples and they learned that the military could help to develop your integrity, maturity and how that they could make anything out of their life by joining the Air Force."

"It wasn't implied that we should join, but it was frequently expressed as a good choice," offered Tech Sgt. Timothy Meyer, a unit deployment manager with the 62d Airlift Wing's Aerial Port Squadron. "We saw that even with the highs and lows that visit everybody in their chosen profession, our father stuck with it. It can't be all bad if he wants to return the next day."

His younger brother, Staff Sgt. Brandon Meyer, an air reserve technician with the 446th Maintenance Squadron, actually signed up for the Air Force via a delayed enlistment program when he was still in high school. After serving four years on active-duty, he transitioned into the reserves.

"My parents were pushing for me to go to college, but I wanted to get out and have a quick start," Staff Sgt. Meyer said. "Getting skills that would be useful made the military seem like the best choice."

"I appreciated it (my upbringing). They gave us direction but it was never heavy-handed," continued Staff Sgt. Meyer, who now has a daughter of his own. "If she wanted to join the military, I'd be for it."

Despite the fact that their children are grown up and starting families of their own, the Meyers are determined to keep positively mentoring their sons.

"Now we are trying to bring education component into their lives," said Meyer, who, along with Cheryl, graduated with an MBA in 2012. The two parents are both adjunct faculty members at St. Martin's University in Lacey and completed both their undergraduate and graduate degrees with financial help from the Air Force.

"I think our experience let the kids see that maybe college can be completed later and that it's not an either or situation," explained Cheryl. "They could do both and maybe not be in debt."

The decision seems to be unanimous between the father and sons, however, to continue to serve as long as possible.

In January 2016, Chief Meyer will be concluding his military career and while he is not yet sure what's next, both the younger airmen are planning to remain in uniform.

"We are proud of all our sons," Cheryl said. "I think of the military as an adventure and I'm glad they took the opportunity. They've had experiences they would never had otherwise."

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