SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
Not everyone would leave behind a home near the ocean where every day is filled with fishing, swimming, enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables and owning a business, but sometimes it’s what needs to be done for an even better opportunity for happiness.
That’s exactly what Airman 1st Class Sewa Gunn, 375th Operations Support Squadron did in 2015 when he decided to leave his home country of Togo, Africa, for an opportunity to join the Air Force.
While helping a friend one day, Gunn was asked if he had any interest in the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also known as the “Visa Lottery.” The visa lottery is a United States government lottery program for receiving a U.S. Permanent Resident Card. The programs gives out 50,000 immigrant visas annually and aims to diversify the immigrant population in the US, by selecting applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants in the last five years.
“I told him ‘I didn’t want to at first because my life was good,’” said Gunn. “I ended up entering, and then two years later the results came out, I won. So, I decided to come and see if I liked it.”
Before coming to America, Gunn owned a business providing a phone and computer repair service, while also employing up to six people.
“I can say I get some of my work ethic from my dad,” said Gunn. “My dad is an electrician and since I was little I would go to work with him and help him with whatever he needed. I learned a lot from him, like how to take care of myself instead of waiting on someone to help me.”
A year after arriving to the U.S., Gunn joined the Air Force. Master Sgt. Cristy Harper, 375th Force Support Squadron Official Mail Center section chief, worked closely with Gunn during his first year at Scott Air Force Base, and helped to ensure he knew what it meant to be part of the Air Force family.
“Connectedness in the workplace for us is so important, it has really helped us to build a solid team here,” said Harper. “It plays a huge role in our professional relationships, our performance and in our trust for one another.”
Gunn said, “When I got here my work center helped me a lot with getting my house ready. I really appreciated it and now I don’t hold back when people need help because I remember the time they were there for me. I feel it’s the best way to be grateful and always try to help people out.”
In his short time on station, Gunn has already been recognized for his performance and dedication to duty.
“He scored the highest percentage among his peers on his career development course exam, scored 100 percent on his physical fitness assessment while also motivating and pushing 15 fellow Airmen during their tests,” said Harper. “Gunn is a phenomenal asset to our team, his drive to learn, inspire, innovate and just do the best in everything he did is unbelievable.”
With a degree in accounting and time serving in the Air Force under his belt, Gunn said he has goals of one day working in cyber security, or even opening his business in America to have an opportunity to give back to those in need.
Gunn said, “Where I came from, it is not easy to succeed. If I can own a big company then I can train people for free and help people who don’t have money to go to school. Helping people is my goal.”