BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Amber Perry has gone from being daddy’s little girl, to becoming a remarkable woman.

“She’s always been amazing, always had that drive,” said Steve Hampton, Amber’s father.

When her father offered to pay for college after high school, Amber politely declined. She told her father she wanted to join the U.S. Air Force and see the world. So, at the age of 18, Amber packed up her car and drove across the country from Shreveport, Louisiana to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.

“It was always just to make my own mark on things, to be myself,” Amber explained. “I didn’t ever want to live in anyone’s shadow.”

As she traveled across the country in 2001, her dad couldn’t sleep until he knew she arrived safely.

She stopped at a truck stop and there was a security guard there,” said Hampton. “She handed him the phone and I said ‘sir are you a father’ and he said ‘yes I’m the father of a little girl’ and I said ‘that’s my baby girl and I’m asking you father to father to keep an eye on my baby girl while she takes a nap and then she’s headed for the Air Force’ and he said ‘I got her.'”

The 9/11 terrorist attacks happened five days into Amber’s basic training. She would later do a tour of duty in Kuwait. After 10 years of active duty, she joined the reserves.

“I had to be honest with myself and say my priority was no longer the Air Force,” shared Amber. “Now I want to be a mom. I joined the reserves do I could put my son to bed at night.”

In addition to being a mother, wife, and daughter, she works for the Inspector General at the 307th Bomb Wing and is active in the community. She says her key to happiness is living authentically.

“I don’t think you have to be the volunteer of America. You don’t have to be the best mom,” said Amber. “I go to work. I do my job. I try to do a little bit better everyday and leave whatever it is I’m in, a little bit better than I found it.”