From the confinement facility:An Airman's perspective

  • Published
  • By Airman Basic Jessica Anderson
  • 509th Bomb Wing
I am Airman Basic Jessica Anderson. I used to be Airman 1st Class Anderson.

I am an inmate at the Whiteman Confinement Facility. I want to tell you a little bit about what brought me here.

You are probably asking yourselves why you should care at this point. I am currently serving a court-martial sentence for my use of methamphetamines and I want to tell everyone what breaking the law can mean to them and their career.

I was court-martialed for using methamphetamines three different times during one night.

My punishment for that crime was reduction to the grade of E-1, forfeiture of $849 of my pay per month for three months, three months of confinement and a Bad Conduct Discharge.

I failed to uphold the core values and the contract I signed when I joined the Air Force.

When I went home to Texas last Labor Day weekend, I was going through some stress and I just needed to get away from the base and my job. Family and friends seemed like the ticket I needed to clear my head.

While I was home, I ended up using methamphetamines with some friends.

Afterward, I felt extremely guilty about it. By the time I left Texas, there were people in Missouri already talking about my crime.

I was reported to OSI and they started an investigation. I thought since I'd done this at home, away from base, I wouldn't get into trouble. I was wrong.

I am very scared at this point. I don't ever get into trouble. I am too nice.

People say I am way too forgiving and trusting. I hate causing drama or being around it.

Basically people never saw me as someone who would get into trouble, and I never saw myself that way. This situation took a lot of people by surprise. This includes close friends, my parents, friends of the family and I will include myself on this list.

In nine months, I went through an investigation, lost my line badge, my government computer was confiscated, and I sat around worrying about what would happen to me.

I spent my time reflecting on the fact that my career is over. I am losing my job and my security. People saw me in a way I never wanted to be seen, and it broke my heart.

I was so angry and hurt with myself. I didn't think I could forgive myself for the pain I have caused to the people around me.

When I was court-martialed June 23, I pled guilty and was given an additional three months to think about all this while I sit in confinement.

I ask myself questions like, "where do I go from here? How am I going to make up for what I did? How will I face the world again with this big dark mark on my record?" Living in confinement is no picnic.

I have lost every freedom I took for granted. I never realized I had it so good until it was taken away.

Let me be the first to tell you, if you're doing something you should not be doing, you will get caught eventually. You won't only let yourself down, you will let down family, friends, coworkers and the civilians you signed on to protect.

I can tell you first-hand, there is nothing you can do worth sacrificing your Air Force career.

I compromised myself and I am still dealing with my bad decision, and will deal with it for the rest of my life as a result of the courtmartial sentence.

I don't know how my life will turn out, but one thing is for sure: I will never make the same mistake again. I will never again fail the people who care about me.

Most importantly, I will never again rob myself of my own integrity.

I made a promise to myself that I will make it through this and I will persevere. I know that my life will be a lot harder now with this conviction and discharge.

Another thing I learned is what I did was not worth the risks I took.

Please don't make the same mistake I did.