12th TRS Airman delivers first public speech Published June 24, 2020 By Benjamin Faske 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph -- Trying something new for the first time can feel like walking a tightrope, but with each step taken confidence is built. That was the experience Master Sgt. Demetrius Owens, 12th Training Squadron superintendent, felt when he volunteered to guest speak at the Class of 2020 Military Service Academy Appointment and Military Enlistee Graduation ceremony June 11, 2020 at Schertz Veterans Memorial Plaza. “This was the first time I was asked to guest speak at an event,” said Owens, “I prepared by watching other 2020 graduation speeches including great speakers like President Obama, I then tried to weave my own thoughts into a heartfelt message for the graduates.” Owens wanted the graduates to reflect on his message of service as they begin their military journey. "What I hope the graduates take from me is persevere, rise above all challenges that come your way and always give your best effort in everything you do. Also, understand how special it is for someone to put their country before themselves because not many American citizens have the pleasure of serving their country. Reflecting on the current challenges the country is facing in dealing with inequality, Owens said. "Our country continues to evolve daily and our youngest generation understand that they have a voice and they are taking action to make America a better place for all of citizens. It’s important that each and every one of these graduates understand that they are the ones to make a difference for all of us. Be the change. We all have to continue to grow as people and remain open minded." The graduation was a combined collaboration between Samuel Clemens and Byron Steele High School. The graduation ceremony followed social distancing and public health guidelines.