Donald Anderson, who was homeless a year ago, was one of 31 men and women sworn into the Air Force following the first inning of the RedHawks game Saturday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
“I want to break the chain,” Anderson said. “Where I grew up in Mississippi a lot of people struggle. I’m joining the Air Force to try to live a happier life for me and my future family. When I first got to Oklahoma we were homeless for about three weeks.”
Anderson’s mother, LaTosha Moody, was attending Cameron University, which also was Anderson’s plan until his mother was diagnosed with a kidney disease.
“If she waited just a few more days she could have died,” Anderson said. “Because of our low income she got some money, which got us back into a home. But when she got sick I had to drop out of school to take two jobs at Walmart and a fast food restaurant.”
Anderson graduated in 2013 from Lucedale High School, a small community of 3,000 near Biloxi, Miss.
Anderson, who said his mother’s condition is improving, was involved in military night festivities sponsored by Devon. Anderson will be based at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
“If I’d stayed home in Mississippi I know I’d have gotten into trouble,” Anderson said. “It’s actually worse in Lawton in a neighborhood called Taft Hood that’s full of gang-bangers. People sometimes die, which is why I worked two jobs to stay away from that. Joining the Air Force will help me live a better life.”