Moody Airman separates from statistic, makes life change

  • Published
  • By Airman Paul Francis
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
Nine years, or about 3,285 days, is how long one particular Airman has spent smoking cigarettes.

For 24-year-old U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Brandon Yadon, 23d Component Maintenance Squadron knowledge operations management journeyman, a time of change was upon him. Being a smoker for so long, with his wife pregnant and with an upcoming fitness test approaching, he knew what had to be done.

Being healthy was the main concern he wanted to establish and make a priority in 2013.

"Being in the Air Force demands us to be at a high level of fitness," said Yadon. "I wanted to get my overall health better. My health is important. Plus, I got a kid on the way I don't want her around the smoke."

Setting an example was key for his wife, Keyana Yadon, who was also a smoker and decided to quit once she found out they were expecting their first born.

"The fact that my husband stopped smoking is great for us as a family," said Keyana Yadon. "If we can do something as hard as quitting smoking, we can do anything together. The most important thing is that we are doing this for our child. We came together and made a decision that we couldn't be selfish anymore."

Yadon began smoking when he was 15 and a sophomore at Waynoka High School in Waynoka, Okla.

As an Army brat his dad would often be deployed, so Yadon would stay with his grandparents who were both smokers.

"I was in a household full of smokers, and my family smoked so I began," he added. "That's why I started at a young age. It has always been a part of my life."

Nine years later, Yadon is an Airman in the U.S. Air Force, a husband, soon to be father and now a non-smoker. He has taken several steps to ensure his smoking habit doesn't impact his fitness and also his family.

The transition to quit smoking hasn't been an easy road for him, but he is determined to see it through.

The key, according to Yadon, is to cut the purchase of cigarettes, find alternatives to smoking and refrain from being around smokers.

"The first five days without a cigarette were definitely the hardest," said Yadon. "It took a lot for me mentally, but after those first five days, the edge went away, and I felt healthier.

"I have a strong desire, and I see myself raising a healthy baby, still smoke free and contributing to the Air Force mission," he added.

With goals set and his determination high, his non-smoking journey sets sail to better not only his life, but also his family, not only the present, but also for the future.

For information on ways to stop smoking, contact the Health and Wellness Center at 229-257-4292.