Citizenship earns Airman 4 more years in uniform Published Aug. 6, 2007 By Steve Pivnick 81st Medical Group Public Affairs KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Senior Airman Julio Alarcon marked a major milestone July 25 -- he was able to re-enlist for four more years in the Air Force. The 81st Medical Operations Squadron genetics lab administrator technician achieved this goal only after reaching another. May 31, he took the oath to become a U.S. citizen, a requirement for re-enlistment. Originally from Lima, Peru, Airman Alarcon arrived in the U.S. in 2000. His father was already living in Dallas, and members of his mother's family were in the Miami-Dade County, Fla., area. "I first stayed in Dallas and then moved to the Miami area," he said. In 2003, after working a variety of jobs, including plumbing supply and FedEx delivery, Airman Alarcon, then 26, enlisted in the Air Force. He was motivated by his desire to become a citizen, as well as the pride in serving in the Air Force. "I have achieved most of my desires and goals since enlisting," he said. In addition to citizenship and re-enlist, Airman Alarcon has been furthering his education while serving his adopted country. In September, he earns a bachelor's degree in health care administration from the Colorado Technical University. He plans to use the degree as a stepping stone to a commission as an Air Force officer. "I probably couldn't have done this on the outside," he said. "I'm so proud to be an American." During the two years, Airman Alarcon pursued his dream of citizenship, two of his staunchest supporters were Maj. Daniel Wattendorf and Master Sgt. Douglas Wilder. The major is the genetics flight commander and Sergerant Wilder is the 81st MDOS first sergeant. "I have to thank Major Wattendorf and Sergeant Wilder, who helped me obtain my citizenship paperwork," he said.