"... Whenever I feel slighted I think back to what my father said and the examples he set for me..."

Airman 1st Class Eric Labauex, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robert Scott)

Airman 1st Class Eric Labauex, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robert Scott)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- "By the time I was 10 years old I was developing an inferiority complex because of the color of my skin. It seemed to me that the media and American culture in general alluded to darker skin as being inferior. But my father taught me otherwise. He conveyed the success of other African-Americans as well as his own successes. He pointed to a local entertainer named DJ Chocolate as an example for me, even though I wasn't really into his music. He was black. He grew up in similar circumstances. But when he talked, it was with confidence and pride. I held onto that, and over the years whenever I feel slighted I think back to what my father said and the examples he set for me."

Airman 1st Class Eric Labauex, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron, HVAC Technician

Hometown: Chicago, IL

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