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A part of history

Capt. Toney Collins, 94th Logistics Readiness Squadron, greets then President-Elect Barack Obama early January in Washington D.C. Captain Collins was part of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, which coordinated military ceremonial support for the 56th Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Tech. Sgt. Bob Martin).

Capt. Toney Collins, 94th Logistics Readiness Squadron, greets then President-Elect Barack Obama early January in Washington D.C. Captain Collins was part of the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, which coordinated military ceremonial support for the 56th Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Tech. Sgt. Bob Martin).

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- In all honesty, I don't truly think it has hit me yet; that we actually have our first African American President. Yes, I have met and talked with him, but it will take some time for this to really soak in. 

I grew up in a school with a very small number of minority students and in a time when there was very limited visibility of successful African American role models. As we all know perception is huge(especially for any youngster that is learning and developing). 

What I mean by that is that when you don't see something for so long you eventually internalize it. People may say, 'maybe it can't or shouldn't happen so why bother?' I am saying all this to say that seeing a minority President gives a great amount of hope and pride to all minorities. 

The magnitude of this event is so great, I can't begin to express it in words. The great reality to all of this is that I am working on the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee for the 56th Presidential Inauguration Swearing-in Ceremony. This historical assignment is superior to anything I have accomplished or been a part of in my 14-year military career.