On a base of nearly 6,000 active-duty members, an Airman’s story can get lost in the mix or doesn’t usually make it past the walls of their own shop or unit. However, an inspiring story can be found in one of Dyess’ smallest shops, about one of its newest Airmen.
Hidden away within the walls of the 7th Medical Group, you will find Airman 1st Class Adam Disque, an Airman with a selfless past and a bright future.
Disque’s story begins in an unusual way, being noticed for doing something no one ever told him to do, but instead, something he felt was just the right thing to do.
In preparation for his physical training assessment, Disque began running across the base in order to better his run time. While running through base housing, he began to see an abundance of trash lining the brush line. Instead of continuing on his way with the mentality of “it’s not my problem,” he decided to do something about it.
“While I was running, I noticed there was trash everywhere. I would pick up a couple of pieces along the way and pretty soon my arms were full, and I didn’t have anywhere to throw it away,” he said. “I kind of made it a game against myself where the only time I was allowed to stop running was if there was a piece of trash to pick up.”
On a Saturday afternoon, while returning from a Wreathes Across America ceremony, Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Lindsey, 7th Bomb Wing command chief, witnessed Disque running through base housing and decided he had to stop and speak with this young Airman.
“I was going into base housing and saw an individual running in the grass holding a bag, no shirt on, and with a camel back. I’m thinking, what in the heck is going on here,” laughed the chief. “When I spoke to him he told me he had seen Col. VanHerck picking up trash in the past and felt that that was something he could contribute too. Personally, I thought that was going above and beyond in my opinion. He has heard the sound-bites of the commander and me talking about accountability, and he took it personal.
“We talk about pride in your unit and pride in your squadron, well, he has pride in his wing. What he is doing isn’t benefiting his section or flight, he’s benefiting the entire wing. He understands the bigger picture,” added Lindsey. “You only hope that an attitude like his is contagious.”
“This isn’t a huge task that I accomplished, it was just a humbling one,” the young Airman said. “I chose to pick up trash because this country, this state and this base mean everything to me.
“Sometimes integrity isn’t always about doing the right thing when no one else is looking but instead, it’s doing the right thing when no one else will,” he added. “Picking up trash isn’t something that affects a mission, it’s just a nice thing to do.”
While Disque has flourished thus far in his short Air Force career, his story to enlist was one that began with a leap of faith and a selfless decision.
“Before I was an Airman, I was a Red Raider, attending Texas Tech University just down the road,” Disque said. “During the spring semester of my freshman year I found out that my mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This made things very difficult to stay in school due to the financial burden.”
Because of his mother’s illness, medical bills soon began to rise into the thousands in out-of-pocket expenses for the Disque family, placing them into a different debt-to-income ratio, which is dependent for student loans.
“My brother and I didn’t have good odds to both be able to attend a university,” he said. “So I chose to take a leap of faith and enlist to give my younger brother a chance at going to school. I felt guilty to not allow my brother to have the same opportunities I had.”
While the decision to enlist may not have been his plan at the time, Disque always wanted to someday join the military and felt there was no better reason to than this. However, it seems as though his selfless act had always been a part of this Airman’s fate.
Disque was able to enlist in Bioenvironmental Engineering, the career field he was attending school for, as well as be stationed at Dyess, a perfect mid-point between his family in Plano, Texas, and his high-school sweetheart Bethany, who still attends Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas.
“Not many people would openly admit that they love being stationed at Dyess,” he laughed. “But Dyess gave me the opportunity to stay close to the ones I love and I am grateful for that.”
As a bioenvironmental engineering specialist, Disque performs and manages bioenvironmental engineering activities in the fields of industrial hygiene, occupational health, radiological health and environmental protection to ensure healthful working conditions are maintained and that the environment is not adversely affected by Air Force operations.
“As a bio tech, I am able to see first-hand what people are being exposed to,” he said. “I get to help with the development and implementing control that will protect everyone in that specific career field. I absolutely love my job and it’s something I plan on doing with my life.”
Outside of his work center, Disque continues to pursue his education to achieve his ultimate goal of commissioning as an Air Force officer.
“ROTC will definitely be the next step for me,” he said. “Right now, ROTC is everything to me. Whether I get in the first time I apply or if I have to wait until the end of my enlistment, that’s something I will do.
“My dream would be to get my commission and stay in the military for as long as I can, especially as a bioenvironmental engineer,” he added. “What I have learned from past experiences is that you really must have multiple options when it comes to your future. The way I see it, when a door closes another opens. You just have to be focused to look for them.”
Disque is the son of Mark and Kelly Disque of Wylie, Texas. He is the grandson of Joe and Roma Lee Murphy of Great Bend and Walter and Joyce Disque of Claflin.