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A family of service members

Senior Airman Andrea Aquino, 375th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, scans a prescription May 29, 2018, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Aquino's family has a long and proud tradition of serving in the United States military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

Senior Airman Andrea Aquino, 375th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, scans a prescription May 29, 2018, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Aquino's family has a long and proud tradition of serving in the United States military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

Andrea Aquino and her father Edwin Aquino pose for a photo after her basic military training graduation.

Andrea Aquino and her father Edwin Aquino pose for a photo after her basic military training graduation.

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Family can mean many things and take on many forms. It is much more than genetics and history.

For one family, it is about a shared commitment and an enduring legacy of service as more than 20 members associated with Senior Airman Andrea Aquino, 375th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, have served in the U.S. military.

It began in the mid-40s to the late 70s, when there was a mass immigration of laborers from the Philippines to Guam who provided support to construct military bases. Among those immigrants was Aquino’s grandfather.

“My maternal grandfather was a contractor who helped build up the naval base that still stands there today, and coincidentally, is home to the (military treatment facility) where his future grandchildren would be born,” said Aquino.

Her grandfather would start what would be a strong family connection with the U.S. military.

Aquino’s father, Edwin Aquino, would be the first member of her family to join the military. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1978 as a Filipino citizen and obtained an expedited American citizenship shortly after.

Edwin was stationed all across the U.S. and overseas. He was a maintainer by trade but gradually worked his way up to become squadron supervision.

Aquino said her father joining the military was contagious. His younger siblings and cousins noted the change in his lifestyle, the opportunities he was offered and the sense of pride he had for serving the United States.

They quickly followed in that same path and enlisted in the military as well, said Aquino. That cultivated a tradition of service that continued to the next generation, when her oldest cousin enlisted in the Air Force in 2000.

“So far, the military heritage in my family spans two generations,” said Aquino.

The members of her family who are serving fill many different roles and serve at many different ranks. The highest ranking member is Aquino’s cousin, Maj. Shane Villanueva.

The lowest ranking member enlisted in 2016 and is her cousin, Airman 1st Class Kaleb Perez.

“My father was, without a doubt, my inspiration for joining the Air Force,” said Aquino. “He served a total of 27 years and retired as a senior master sergeant, with a legacy that forged the path for myself and others to follow. I felt that the greatest way to honor him for his service was to contribute to the same cause and carry on the Aquino name.”

Family can mean many things and take on many forms. It is much more than genetics and history.

For one family, it is about a shared commitment and an enduring legacy of service as more than 20 members associated with Senior Airman Andrea Aquino, 375th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, have served in the U.S. military.

It began in the mid-40s to the late 70s, when there was a mass immigration of laborers from the Philippines to Guam who provided support to construct military bases. Among those immigrants was Aquino’s grandfather.

“My maternal grandfather was a contractor who helped build up the naval base that still stands there today, and coincidentally, is home to the (military treatment facility) where his future grandchildren would be born,” said Aquino.

Her grandfather would start what would be a strong family connection with the U.S. military.

Aquino’s father, Edwin Aquino, would be the first member of her family to join the military. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1978 as a Filipino citizen and obtained an expedited American citizenship shortly after.

Edwin was stationed all across the U.S. and overseas. He was a maintainer by trade but gradually worked his way up to become squadron supervision.

Aquino said her father joining the military was contagious. His younger siblings and cousins noted the change in his lifestyle, the opportunities he was offered and the sense of pride he had for serving the United States.

They quickly followed in that same path and enlisted in the military as well, said Aquino. That cultivated a tradition of service that continued to the next generation, when her oldest cousin enlisted in the Air Force in 2000.

“So far, the military heritage in my family spans two generations,” said Aquino.

The members of her family who are serving fill many different roles and serve at many different ranks. The highest ranking member is Aquino’s cousin, Maj. Shane Villanueva.

The lowest ranking member enlisted in 2016 and is her cousin, Airman 1st Class Kaleb Perez.

“My father was, without a doubt, my inspiration for joining the Air Force,” said Aquino. “He served a total of 27 years and retired as a senior master sergeant, with a legacy that forged the path for myself and others to follow. I felt that the greatest way to honor him for his service was to contribute to the same cause and carry on the Aquino name.”