Strength comes from both sides

John and Staff Sgt. Shalon Sabo with their daughters Kayleigh, 8, and Avery, 5 months.

John and Staff Sgt. Shalon Sabo with their daughters Kayleigh, 8, and Avery, 5 months.


For Staff Sgt. Shalon Sabo, her family is strong, in part, due to the support from her civilian husband, John.

“I am proud of my husband,” said Sabo.

“With basic military training and tech school, I was gone for nine months straight. He held down the fort back home and does the same when I am on evening and night shifts.”

Holding down the fort often means caring for their five-month-old daughter Avery while Sabo works evening and night shifts at the 15th Operational Weather Squadron. But Sabo says the benefits that the Air Force provides to families is one of her favorite parts of being in the military. With a family of four, those benefits are key.

“The biggest challenge we had to face is child care,” said Sabo. “I work rotating shifts, so when Kayleigh visits, I have to take leave.”

Kayleigh, her 8-year-old stepdaughter, is yet another link in the support system.

Before leaving basic, Sabo says Kayleigh gave her advice on how to beat the bad guys while away.

She says it’s one of her favorite memories, but she also used it to explain to Kayleigh why she had to leave.

“We are young, growing, inexperienced, and mature. With just having our first child (but not the last), we are learning our way to full-time parenthood. We are both older, therefore more mature due to more life experience. ”

Sabo has been in the Air Force for just four years, and it’s possible she’ll be making many more memories with her family as an Air Force mom.

“I am happy with what I have experienced thus far,” said Sabo. “I am glad my family gets to experience this too.”