Hispanic Heritage Month Highlight Published Sept. 23, 2022 By U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Gabrielle Winn 39th Air Base Wing INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve asked Airmen of Hispanic heritage from across the wing to share their stories and why they serve: 1st Lt. Miguel Pedersen is originally from the Dominican Republic and serves as the services flight commander for the 39th Contracting Squadron at Incirlik Air Base. His section manages contracts for personnel and leases in the area of responsibility. Pedersen said that he joined the military as it was his childhood passion. "I was always the kid playing with GI Joe action figures and reading WWII books," explained Pedersen. "I can still vividly recall the first time I saw someone in uniform." With guidance from his mother, he attended the University of Florida, earning his commission through the ROTC program. "I considered enlisting into the Army after high school. But with a stern, Latin mother, I didn't have much of a say regarding higher education. On campus, I first learned about the officer corps and had the privilege of being surrounded by incredible folks that dragged me to the finish line," said Pedersen. Throughout his time in ROTC and in the active duty military, Pedersen had some major take-aways from his experience, "Professionally, there are two boxes I need ticked: people and adventure. The military provides opportunities in both categories with no civilian equivalent." As for his time in the military, Pedersen says, "As long as that continues, you'll continue to see me in my OCPs with an ear to ear smile. Arriba mi gente!"