Lifelong wingmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Travis Beihl
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The old adage goes ‘like father, like son’ but just how similar to each other can a father and son be?

For Senior Airman Tyler Fisher, 81st Infrastructure Division firefighter, and his father Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Fisher, 81st Training Group superintendent, the similarities only begin with being able to call each other wingmen.

Tyler, a husband and father of three, made the decision to join the Air Force four years ago and, from the very beginning, knew it was something which would allow him to become what he always wanted to be; a firefighter.  

“I knew joining the Air Force was the right decision,” said Tyler. “I could serve my country, support my family, continue my education and do a job I love; a job that makes me proud to put on the uniform every day.”

Although the decision to raise his right hand and take the oath of enlistment was his own, his father’s stories and experiences helped solidify his choice to join.

“My dad has been in the Air Force for a long time, and I saw how it impacted him,” said Tyler. “I’ve always wanted to become a firefighter and the Air Force offered better training and certification opportunities than anywhere else.”

Once he completed basic military training and his technical school, Tyler received a surprise from the Air Force in the form of his first duty station.

“When I graduated technical school, I found out my first duty station was going to be Keesler, which got me excited because that meant I was headed to the same base as Dad,” Tyler said. “Sadly though, as I headed to Keesler, Dad got orders to Randolph [AFB, Texas].”

It took three years before father and son were able to be stationed at the same base again, when a 81st TRG superintendent position opened, which the elder Fisher applied for and secured.

“My family and I love the environment and the Keesler family,” said Anthony. “It was also an opportunity to be reunited with my son and his family at the same time.”

Now, Tyler is a senior airman with an eight year old son in school, very similar to his father who was also a senior airman and had an eight year old son, Tyler, when he was stationed at Keesler for the first time.

Just like when Tyler was younger, his dad takes the time out of his day to come over and share a meal with his son, but this time at the fire house.

“Dad and I hang out all the time,” said Tyler. “We have always been close and normally see each other once a week if not every couple days for food or just to catch up.”

According to Anthony, not only is Tyler his son, but also his best friend and is very proud of the path he’s chosen.

“I’m very proud of Tyler’s decision to join the Air Force,” said Anthony. “Not very many people can say their son or daughter is serving and I am proud to say my son is my wingman.”

But even with the strong family bond and being wingmen in the Air Force, Anthony still wasn’t sure of the impact he had on his son.

“I’m not sure if I had an influence on his joining the military,” said Anthony. “I’m really not sure if he looked at me as a military member or just as a dad and the Air Force was just my job.”

Tyler, on the other hand, has always looked up to his father and the way he leads by example.

“My dad works hard and has made time for family and I’ve always seen it growing up,” said Tyler. “His lifestyle and how he lives has greatly affected me and drives me to follow in his footsteps.”