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Dyess Father participates in stepdaughter’s enlistment ceremony at Texas Rangers ballgame

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Craig Cooper, 7th Civil Engineer Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, stands with his stepdaughters Elizabeth Martinez, left, and Katherine Martinez July 4, 2013, outside of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Cooper and his daughters traveled to Arlington to participate in an Air Force enlistment ceremony on the Texas Rangers’ baseball field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Craig Cooper, 7th Civil Engineer Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, stands with his stepdaughters Elizabeth Martinez, left, and Katherine Martinez July 4, 2013, outside of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Cooper and his daughters traveled to Arlington to participate in an Air Force enlistment ceremony on the Texas Rangers’ baseball field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson/Released)

Elizabeth and Katherine Martinez, bottom left, listen to a recruiter before walking onto the field July 4, 2013, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Air Force recruits from across Texas converged at Rangers Ballpark to participate in an Air Force enlistment ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson/Released)

Elizabeth and Katherine Martinez, bottom left, listen to a recruiter before walking onto the field July 4, 2013, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Air Force recruits from across Texas converged at Rangers Ballpark to participate in an Air Force enlistment ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson/Released)

Elizabeth Martinez, left, and Katherine Martinez, daughters of Dyess Air Force Base Tech. Sgt. Craig Cooper, walk onto the field July 4, 2013, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Elizabeth enlisted on the Rangers baseball team’s field prior to the start of a game, along with more than 150 other Air Force recruits, while Katherine, a Navy recruit, wore an Air Force shirt in support of her sister. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson/Released)

Elizabeth Martinez, left, and Katherine Martinez, daughters of Dyess Air Force Base Tech. Sgt. Craig Cooper, walk onto the field July 4, 2013, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Elizabeth enlisted on the Rangers baseball team’s field prior to the start of a game, along with more than 150 other Air Force recruits, while Katherine, a Navy recruit, wore an Air Force shirt in support of her sister. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Craig Cooper, 7th Civil Engineer Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, center, holds an American flag July 4, 2013, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas during his stepdaughter’s Air Force enlistment ceremony, prior to a Texas Ranger’s baseball game. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson/Released)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Craig Cooper, 7th Civil Engineer Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, center, holds an American flag July 4, 2013, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas during his stepdaughter’s Air Force enlistment ceremony, prior to a Texas Ranger’s baseball game. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Peter Thompson/Released)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- From generation to generation, Tech. Sgt. Craig Cooper is keeping the military tradition in his family.

Growing up, Cooper was always surrounded by military members. Not only has he followed in his family's footsteps, but now his step daughters are following his. Cooper's stepdaughters, Elizabeth, who will join the Air Force and Katherine, who will join the Navy, will continue that family tradition.

Cooper, a third generation Airman, always knew what he wanted to do with his life.

"My dad and grandpa played a big part in my decision making, both of them served in the Air Force retiring at chief master sergeant," Cooper said. "The commitment and willingness to devote my life to something so special means a lot to me."

During the Fourth of July weekend, Cooper got the opportunity to witness a fourth generation take the oath of enlistment at a baseball game. The Texas Rangers provided that opportunity during their annual enlistment ceremony for Air Force recruits around Texas. Cooper and his daughter Katherine were there to support Elizabeth during the ceremony.

"I was excited to be a part of the event," Cooper said. "It was a great opportunity to have both my daughters supporting each other."

When asked about her career, Elizabeth said her inspiration came from her stepfather.

"Watching my stepfather serve in the Air Force inspired me to join," said Elizabeth, who is currently in the Delayed Entry Program and graduates high school next year.

Cooper's other daughter, Katherine, who leaves for Navy Basic Training in just two weeks, took a different path from her sister, but still wanted to serve.

"I decided to join the Navy because I really like what they have to offer," said Katherine, a recent graduate of Abilene High School.

Cooper said he is proud of both his daughter's choices.

"I gave them options, but ultimately they made the decision to serve their country," Cooper said.

With one leaving for basic military training this month and the other leaving in 2014, Cooper said he has nothing but positive hopes for his daughters.

"I'm enjoying my time in the military, and I only hope my girls will enjoy it as I have," Cooper said. "They are wonderful young women with a great future ahead of them, I know they will succeed at whatever they do."

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