DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — One Air Force veteran has made the Miami Valley her home after years of service, and now she’s made it her mission to serve other veterans.

Dr. Cassie Barlow’s impressive career began years ago with an ROTC scholarship at Georgetown University. There she spent four years learning about the Air Force before graduating in 1988.

Barlow went off on her first assignment — one of 13 that would take her all over the world — and met her husband, Tim.

“We met at our first assignment in the Air Force and we happened to be there together, We met and started to date and got married after the first assignment,” said Barlow.

The Air Force brought the family to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base twice throughout Barlow’s career: once in the late ’90s as a behavioral scientist in the Air Force Research Lab, and again in 2012.

“And coming here in 2012 was like coming home,” said Barlow.

“It was just a blessing to come back to Wright-Patterson — really didn’t have a choice — it’s where the Air Force decided to place myself and my family but we absolutely loved it here and that’s why we decided to stay.”

Barlow served as 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander at Wright-Patterson and later retired as a colonel in 2014.

Now, she’s the president of the Strategic Ohio Council for High Education where she said her time in the Air Force prepared her.

“My entire career was really spent in behavioral science and human resources. It was all about developing the next generation within the Air Force, helping people professionally develop and advance through the ranks in the Air Force,” said Barlow.

She also spends her time volunteering as the chair of myVeteran Community, a resource that helps veterans get what they need in the Miami Valley. Recently, the organization has been focusing on food insecurity among veterans.

Barlow said, “It’s really about collective impact. It’s really about working together to solve whatever the issue is.”

But Barlow said her mission to help other veterans took time to develop.

“I guess early in my career I really didn’t get it. I didn’t get the impact veterans have had on our nation,” said Barlow.

“Being at a point in my career where I can really jump into the community and give back and utilize some of the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and some of the experience to be able to help others, it’s just a huge honor for me to do that.”