Jan Kays

Jan Kays, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs visual information artist, poses in her work environment, Nov. 7, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Veterans Day is a nationally celebrated holiday that honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Robert J. Volio/Released)

Jan Kays, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs visual information artist, poses in her work environment, Nov. 7, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Veterans Day honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Robert J. Volio/Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Vandenberg honors those who served and continue to serve.

Q: When did you begin serving? When did you retire?
A: I came into the Air Force in October of 1973 during the Vietnam War and served for almost 10 years before getting out.


Q: What was your job?
A: I was an illustrator. I came in direct, I didn't go to tech school because they didn't have a tech school then. So, I went from Lackland to Randolph. My first job was with a recruiting service as one of the illustrators for national programs. I went to art school for advertising, so my background is in art and advertising.


Q: What is your current job?
A: My current title is visual information artist, and I do a little bit of everything; print work, web designs, animations, and Facebook.


Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you?
A: Serving is an integral thing to do. To really show my age, I grew up when World War II was not considered ancient history. My father was in the Marines in the Pacific, my uncle was a pilot in the Air Force and my other uncle was in the Merchant Marines and saw a lot of action over in Europe. So to me, it's hard to explain when you grew up with that. My toys growing up were my dad's Marine helmet and his bayonet that I still have.


Q: What does it mean to be a veteran yourself?
A: You know, I don't think about it much. I think that has a lot to do with when I was in the service because it was not popular to be in the military so you wouldn't mention it much. Nowadays, I'll have some young person say 'thank you for your service' and it's something I don't expect at all. I think it's integral to who I am, but it isn't something that I need everybody to know.


Q: What should Vandenberg Airmen reflect upon this upcoming Veterans Day?
A: I think Vandenberg Airmen should understand that serving in the military now is tough, but is nothing compared to how those before them served. They should appreciate that the reason why they have it so easy now is because those before them fought to make it easier for them now.