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Communications Airman literarily communicates passion

By Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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It’s a pitch black evening, just before midnight. The clicking sound of computer keys fill a dorm room as a bright screen illuminates the face of a young novelist.

Senior Airman Payton Miller, 2nd Communication Squadron client systems technician, used his development in the Air Force to pursue and achieve his personal goal of becoming a self-published author.

His interest in writing first began in high school, around the same time he decided to make the life changing decision to join the military.

“I saw it as an opportunity, and I went for it. I could’ve stayed home, struggled and went into debt, but I wanted to make something of myself,” Miller said. “Sure enough, the Air Force has done that and given me more than I could’ve ever imagined.”

After publishing his first novel in 2017, Miller continued his journey as a writer by starting his second book. He attributes his growth as a storyteller to his time in the armed forces. Situations, scenes and characters in his books reflect his experiences.

“The military itself has definitely been a game changer in my writing style,” Miller said. “I find inspiration in my daily work life, the bases I’ve been to, people I’ve met and just the overall military lifestyle I live today. The books are a part of who I am.”

Miller believes the Air Force was exactly what he needed to stay focused on his writing goals.

“Before I joined I didn’t care about much. Serving has given me a sense of direction and taught me how to be an adult. The military is helping me take care of my every day needs, which in turn allows me to make investments towards my goals. I think if I was on the outside I wouldn’t be a self-published author.”

Even though his passion for writing takes a great deal of time and energy from him, he does not allow it to detract from his sense of service.

“Miller does a good job balancing what needs done. When he's at work he is always focused on the mission,” said Tech. Sgt. Besmir Lalaj, Miller’s former supervisor and 51st Communications Squadron executive communications NCO in-charge. “He is a selfless individual that goes above and beyond to help those around him. He has a strong work ethic, is always punctual and sees task through to completion. He is a self-motivated Airman.”

Miller encourages other Airmen to be good at their job, but also pursue their passions and goals.

“The military doesn’t have to solely be your career. You can use it to help get you to where you want to be. Allow the Air Force to help you do what you love,” Miller said. “In the Air Force no one has told me I couldn’t do something. It has always been ‘how can I help you do this?’ If you’re quiet about your passions, you’re going to have a hard time finding others to support you. When you find out that your squadron cares about you as a person rather than just an Airman, it will change your perspective.”

The Air Force isn’t only a way to serve the United States, but also a method to pursue and work towards achieving personal goals.

The Air Force has given me more than I could have ever imagined,” Miller said. “I think the level of support here is amazing. I’m grateful for everything that has happened so far and excited for what else is to come. Take advantage of the opportunities and avenues around you - go above and beyond, and do what you love.”