BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado --
In a dark, monotonous dorm room, a sheet covered with color, paint brushes and pictures brings life to its surroundings. In the corner you can see the familiar shape of sage boots.
During regular duty hours you can find Airman 1st Class Kayla Jaramillo, an aerospace medical technician at the Buckley Air Force Base Colfax Clinic, in Aurora, Colorado, checking in patients and performing basic medical treatments.
“My daily tasks include taking blood pressure, vitals, flu swabs, checking in patients, giving reports to providers and performing some treatments they order like cyst or wart removals,” says Jaramillo.
While Kayla enjoys her job, she finds it hectic at times and turns to painting as a way to unwind.
“It’s like meditation, it takes me out of the world,” says Jaramillo. “When I’m doing it, I get so focused like nothing else matters except for this.”
Kayla’s passion for painting was inspired by her mother when she was just two years old.
“When I was little, instead of putting me in front of the television, my mom would put me in front of a canvas with a paint brush,” says Jaramillo.
From there her passion only grew, and with numerous paintings created over the years, Jaramillo’s talent has grown as well.
When a poster for the 2017 Air Force Art Contest caught her eye one day while working out, she thought it was a great opportunity to do something with her work.
“I saw a flyer for the contest in the gym,” says Jaramillo. “I didn’t think I’d win, I just thought I might as well submit something.”
Out of hundreds of paintings submitted, Jaramillo placed first in the Adult Novice Category with a painting she titled “Swallow your Pride, Life isn’t Fair”.
“I saw so many other amazing pieces on the website and I thought ‘Oh My Gosh’ I’m not even comparing to these people, they are really good,” says Jaramillo. “So I was really surprised”
Colleagues of Jaramillo find her artistic side refreshing in the work environment. A1C Nick Dicesare, also an Aerospace Medical Technician, who has worked with Jaramillo since technical school spoke of her positive attitude.
“She’s all about getting in and learning a bunch of new things. She’s one of the most optimistic people I’ve ever met, so it’s really refreshing,” says Dicesare. “People are always willing to give her challenging but rewarding assignments and she takes it in stride.”
While Jaramillo enjoys painting, she plans on remaining in the medical field and obtaining her BA by the end of her enlistment so she can apply to medical school.
Jaramillo says “I don’t want art to be something I’m forcing because I’m relying on it for a paycheck, so I just do it in my free time for fun.”