Columbian grad ready for military adventure


A 2017 Tiffin Columbian High School graduate who is joining the military is preparing for basic training this week.

Ameer Thomas, originally from Toledo, signed a four-year contract with the U.S. Air Force earlier this year and leaves for training in San Antonio Tuesday.

“I’m a little nervous about it, but I’m also very excited,” he said. “I’m ready to do something new and excited to be on my own and experience something like that. It’s a great opportunity.”

Thomas said he has visited surrounding states, but this will be the farthest he’s been and his first extended time away from home.

“I’m a little nervous as far as being out on my own and not knowing everyone around me,” he said. “But, I’m very excited and intrigued to find out about other things outside of Ohio and see new places with flying and exploring the world, basically.”

Thomas said he weighed his options when he was a senior and was accepted at several colleges.

“When I was thinking about what I was going to major in … I was very unsure,” he said.” I was thinking, ‘Why go into debt these next four years?'”

Thomas said he chose the Air Force over the Army because he thought he had a better chance to improve his education in the organization. 

When basic training is over, Thomas said he will be sent to technical school, where he will train to become an airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operator.

Thomas, whose grandfather is in the Marines, said the job will lean on his communication skills.

He said he has not decided if he will make a career in the Air Force after his four-year contract.

“If I like it enough, I can decide to do the full 20 years,” Thomas said. “The benefits would be great.”

Thomas said he thinks high school students should consider the military.

“It can be a stepping stone or a career,” he said. “I think the military is a great option. If anyone is ever interested in it, I’d encourage them not to be afraid of the what-ifs. Go out and talk to the recruiter to find out if they’d like it.”

Thomas said people considering their future should not limit their options.

“Try to stay open to any possibility,” he said. “If you don’t know what you want to do, I’d always say leave the military as an option. Do what’s best for you.”