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Dyess Airman chases boxing dream

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Senior Airman Kyle Jenkins, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument flight apprentice, strikes fast June 24 during his rigorous training program at the Abilene Boxing Club. Airman Jenkins has been boxing for two years and is already an Armed Forces contender. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Stephen Reyes)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Senior Airman Kyle Jenkins, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument flight apprentice, strikes fast June 24 during his rigorous training program at the Abilene Boxing Club. Airman Jenkins has been boxing for two years and is already an Armed Forces contender. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Stephen Reyes)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Senior Airman Kyle Jenkins, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument flight apprentice, warms up during his training program June 24 at the Abilene Boxing Club led by Tech. Sgt. Edward Reevis. Airman Jenkins has been training with Sergeant Reevis for about 2 years. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Stephen Reyes)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Senior Airman Kyle Jenkins, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument flight apprentice, warms up during his training program June 24 at the Abilene Boxing Club led by Tech. Sgt. Edward Reevis. Airman Jenkins has been training with Sergeant Reevis for about 2 years. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Stephen Reyes)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Senior Airman Kyle Jenkins, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument flight apprentice, jabs the bag during his rigorous training program June 24 at the Abilene Boxing Club. Airman Jenkins’ main aspiration is to make the Air Force Boxing Team. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Stephen Reyes)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Senior Airman Kyle Jenkins, 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument flight apprentice, jabs the bag during his rigorous training program June 24 at the Abilene Boxing Club. Airman Jenkins’ main aspiration is to make the Air Force Boxing Team. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Stephen Reyes)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Senior Airman Kyle Jenkins, a 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument flight apprentice here, is in a rigorous training program to pursue his boxing passion.

The 26-year-old Texas native grew up playing football and basketball. He always loved boxing but never had the chance to seek his dream until he entered the Air Force in October 2005.

His last two years at Dyess have prepared him for his greatest opportunity after happening upon Air Force boxing coach, Tech. Sgt. Edward Reevis, in May 2006.

"I enjoy working with coach Reevis," Airman Jenkins said. "He's a great coach and really knowledgeable."

Sergeant Reevis, a 317th Maintenance Squadron resource advisor, has been in the Air Force for more than 17 years serving and defending his nation. He's been head coach of the Air Force boxing team for six years.

The two first met at the gym when Airman Jenkins wanted to train under Sergeant Reevis for football conditioning. Airman Jenkins saw a hard work-ethic training program and wanted to be a part of it. From there, they formed a friendship. Soon, he entered into his very first competition in Abilene and won the fight by a forfeit in the 3rd round.

Airman Jenkins said that was his proudest moment of his boxing career so far. "It was an amazing feeling," he said.

Motivated by the will of God and by his faith, Airman Jenkins wears a tattooed cross on his left shoulder and said his greatest inspiration is in Jesus Christ. "My life is echoed by the verse in Philippians Chapter 4, 'I can do all things in Christ, who gives me strength,'" he said.

His biggest challenge has been balancing his work schedule and his time for boxing.

"There's just so much work, and it's difficult to get out and train when I need to," he said.

Jenkins attends the Abilene Boxing Club, which opened in July of 2008. He's very committed to the program, his coach and especially his team.

"Even though he works so hard, he's always listening, always trying to improve in everything, open to a real hard critique with a will and desire to win," said Sergeant Reevis. "When he's not competing in a fight, he still goes and supports his teammates. Kyle is one of those guys you wish you had when you were young to train up because he lives by his core values, and his servanthood makes him greater."

Airman Jenkins is currently working for future fights later this year and will continue to progress his boxing career as he discharges from the Air Force.

Airman Jenkins joined the Air Force for the military experience as well as educational opportunities. He enlisted for four years and plans on getting out in October of this year. Eventually he intends to use his G.I. Bill to get a degree in the medical field.