Kyle Lutton, a sophomore at Kent State University, has moved more than a dozen times in his lifetime. When he graduates from the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in 2019, four years in Kent will be the longest he’s stayed in one place, but even that’s temporary. “There are three constants in my life,” he said. “One is poetry, two is running and three is the Air Force.”
His poetry is a unique way to share stories. Whether it be about heartbreak, moving through states or taking international mission trips, Lutton writes about the difficulties he’s experienced in life outside the Air Force—“Even a warrior through many trails can yet break,” Lutton writes in his poem “Rising Tide.”
The running is a way to temporarily escape and reflect on those complexities, like his memories of working with impoverished Peruvian children on a mission trip.
And the Air Force is how he tackles those complexities in the flesh. It is, after all, how his parents met when they served in the military. Lutton will graduate as a second lieutenant, starting off the family’s third generation of military personnel. He said the constant traveling didn’t hinder him—it motivated him.
“It makes me want to defend [the country] even more,” Lutton said. “Service is the biggest reason I want to be doing this. I love America with all my heart.”
Story by Theresa Cottom
Photos by Kristin Wiest