ST. PAUL, Minn. – “I was born in Japan, raised in the Philippines, and then came to Los Angeles in America when I was about 11 or 12 years old, but after a few weeks I moved to Florida with my step-father,” said Airman 1st Class Denzel Laxamana, assigned to the 90th Missile Security Operations Squadron at F.E. Warren Air Force Base.
Laxamana helps greet and assist local community members at the St. Paul Community Vaccination Center (CVC) in Minnesota.
“I direct people to their respective tables,” he said. “My main goal is to keep the flow of people going and to make sure that the vaccinators can give the vaccines. I greet them and show them to a person that checks them in and from there they are handed off to someone who takes them back to a vaccinator.”
Originally from Japan, Laxamana joined the Air Force in June 2019.
“Joining the Air Force was actually my plan C,” he said. “My plan A was to get a scholarship for soccer at a nice college and my plan B was to go to a community college. When that didn’t work out I had to go to plan C, which was to enlist.”
Other than his goal of gaining an education, Laxamana joined the Air Force to travel and for new opportunities.
“I also want to travel and to experience the unexpected,” he said. “I wanted to try the Air Force and see where it takes me and it’s taken me pretty far. I’m a lot more disciplined than I used to be.”
Back at the 90 MSOS at F.E. Warren AFB, Laxamana works for the commander’s support staff.
“I do a lot of admin duties such as special duty assignment pay, routing EPRs [Enlisted Performance Reports], and other various administrative duties,” he said.
When he isn’t working, Laxamana likes to stay busy with various physical hobbies to keep him outdoors and active.
“I play a lot of soccer,” he said. “When I was in California, after graduating from high school, I would skate all over the beach and would go to various skate parks when I was in Florida. I lift weights as well, but I’m transitioning to calisthenics.”
Laxamana also loves to yo-yo since it helps with his eye-hand coordination.
After graduating from high school, Laxamana took a one year break in California while deciding what he wanted to do.
“I tried working at McDonald’s, but I realized that I can’t stay here forever and so I tried another job at a sports store,” he said. “My new boss was a retired Master Sergeant and he would tell me how he would travel all over the world. He was one of the people that gave me the motivation to enlist in the Air Force and he’s one of the reasons why I am here.”
Working at the CVC here marks the first deployment for Laxamana in the Air Force.
“This is my first deployment in the Air Force,” he said. “We just try to work hard out here and make sure that this mission goes as smooth as possible. The most rewarding part of this is knowing that you’re helping out the community and getting people to a new normal.”