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From Philippines to AF finance office

Airman 1st Class Arvin Dizon, 14th Flying Training Wing financial services technician, works on his computer Sept. 18, 2017, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. By helping to resolve financial issues for Airmen and their families, Dizon helps produce pilots, advance Airmen, and feed the fight, pushing the Columbus Air Force Base mission forward as part of the backbone for financial services. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb)

Airman 1st Class Arvin Dizon, 14th Flying Training Wing financial services technician, works on his computer Sept. 18, 2017, on Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. By helping to resolve financial issues for Airmen and their families, Dizon helps produce pilots, advance Airmen, and feed the fight, pushing the Columbus Air Force Base mission forward as part of the backbone for financial services. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The U.S. Air Force provides it’s Airmen with a sustainable job, career growth and development, educational benefits, and for some members it’s a gateway to American citizenship.

The U.S. recruits in many different ways but has bases all over the world that can change the way people see the U.S. and the Defense Department.

Airman 1st Class Arvin Dizon, 14th Flying Training Wing financial services technician, came to America with his family from the Philippines in September 2013, to live in California for about three years before joining the service.

“I was mostly raised by my grandparents on my mother’s side and my brother because my father and mother had worked a lot, mostly overseas,” Dizon said. “While in the Philippines, I was in my third year of college while I was interning, we got a notification that our visa got approved and we were able to move to America.”

In the Philippines Dizon finished high school and college, gaining his Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical sciences. Wanting to continue his education, he looked in the area and found nothing that fit within his financial goals.

“We had moved to California and I really wanted to go back to school, but we all know it’s pretty expensive there and it would have taken me forever to pay off the education costs,” Dizon said. “Not only would the Air Force help with my education but my uncle had retired with the U.S. Navy and he suggested for me to go into the Air Force.”

His uncle spent a career as an enlisted member in the Navy, moving to America with his family and raising them while in the service. He had talked to Dizon about his experiences and suggested joining the Air Force.

“I hadn’t known if I was prepared to live alone and balance studying, school and working in a completely new country, so I was weighing my options and figured this was the best option for me,” Dizon said.

He joined in November 2016 and came in with the career field of financial services. He had looked into the options to become a commissioned officer but was not eligible to commission until becoming an American citizen.

Thus far, Dizon said he feels the Air Force has met the expectations he sought from the beginning, and has helped with pursuing his goals. As of now, he said he doesn’t see any reason why he wouldn’t continue his service after his first enlistment, because the Air Force provides a lot of options and avenues to take.

When reflecting on his life in the Philippines he mentioned many differences in culture. He remembered how in the Philippines he was not allowed to go to work and school at the same time, and also recognized the options for extracurricular activities are more expansive in American public schools.

“There’s tons of opportunities here compared to back home [in the Philippines],” Dizon said.

Currently Dizon is working on his upgrade training and is focused on getting on track to continue his education through the Community College of the Air Force.

As a financial services technician, Dizon is responsible for helping Airmen and their families in-process and addresses issues with members’ Leave and Earnings Statements.

“Working in finance isn’t that bad of a job, it’s pretty nice,” Dizon said. “Everywhere I had worked before were customer service based, so it hasn’t been too different, since the financial services flight is a lot of customer service.”

Ultimately Dizon will continue to help produce pilots, advance Airmen, and feed the fight, pushing the Columbus Air Force Base mission forward as part of the backbone for financial services.