Max Meyer is just a year out of high school but is miles from his life at Marmion Academy in Aurora.
The 19-year-old Illinois Air National Guard member said he will be in Japan for a week next month as a crew chief.
"I'm an airplane mechanic," Meyer said. "I love my job. It's the best job in the Air Force, that's for sure."
The Kane County Chronicle is looking back at recent high school graduates who have been featured in its annual series the past few years. Meyer was profiled last year.
Meyer left for U.S. Air Force basic training in July and graduated in September at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. According to the U.S. Air Force, he was one of 43 airmen in a class of 437 trainees who earned the distinction of being an honor graduate.
"Marmion prepared me for it pretty well," Meyer said. "Growing up in a military family, I kind of knew the lifestyle I was going into."
Because he had further training through January, Meyer said he didn't start his freshman year at Eastern Illinois University until the spring semester. He is studying mechanical engineering.
"It's always something I've wanted to do," he said, noting he eventually will have to transfer to another college to pursue that field.
Last year, one of Meyer's teachers at Marmion, Victor Pinks II, described Meyer as "one of the most inquisitive minds" he’s met.
"He never stops asking questions, and he’s not afraid to learn or try anything," Pinks said then.
When asked whether he wanted to say anything else about his past year, Meyer thanked his parents, Debby and Dave Meyer of Geneva, for their help.