St. Robert staff sergeant talks about Air force experience

Q: What inspired you to join the military?

A: At 22 I decided I wanted more for myself. I wanted to have the security of a job, the ability to educate myself without putting myself into debt and to be part of something that was bigger than myself and benefited my friends and family.

Q: Why did you join the Air Force?

A: I originally looked into joining the Army, but after doing some research and spending time with recruiters from the Navy, Army and Air Force, I decided the Air Force provided the lifestyle I would be most able to adapt to.

Q: What was you rank?

A: I separated from Active Duty as an E-4, or a Senior Airman. I currently hold the rank of E-5, or Staff Sergeant, in the Air Force Reserves.

Q: When did you serve in Afghanistan?

A: I deployed to Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, in January of 2012 and returned late May the same year.

Q: What did you do while you were there?

A. My specialty in the military was to work on the engines of C-130E, H and J model aircraft. We deployed in support of the C-130J model. While I was there my primary duties were to document and maintain all flying and maintenance data as part of the debrief team.

Q: What values did you take away from your time in the military?

A: The Air Force core values are "integrity first," "service before self" and "excellence in all we do." These are values everyone could use to live by but the Air Force made it clear why they are important values to use in your everyday life.

Q: What are you most proud of from your time serving?

A: I deployed twice while active duty and will again next year with my reserve unit. I joined with the mindset that I wanted to actively participate in making our country a safer place to live. Deployments are the hands on the front line, a way of actively participating in defending your nation. No matter what you do while overseas, you are there because you joined and you made the sacrifices that so many others are not willing to. That is something that every military member can be proud of.

Q: Why did you decide to go into the Reserves?

A: I wasn't ready to separate from the military when I did, but bigger life choices had to be made. Being in the Reserves gives me the ability to still serve and be connected to the Air Force but on a part time bases.

Q: You're going to deploy again soon. What are you looking forward to or dreading?

A: I greatly enjoyed my first two deployments and I am looking forward to this upcoming one as well. I am with a new unit and working on a new aircraft but those are just obstacles to overcome and accomplishments I look forward to achieving. Challenges make life interesting. I am of course not looking forward to being away from my husband and friends here in Missouri, but that is part of the sacrifice that has to be made.

Q: What do you like about serving in the Air Force?

A: One of the greatest things I like about serving in the Air Force is the camaraderie of the units I have been a part of. Being a female in a predominately male career field has sometimes presented challenges but within my shop of engine maintainers, I have always been welcomed with open minds and given a fair chance to prove myself as an equal. Not all situations allow for that and the Air Force gave me this opportunity to excel in an area I never expected to even be involved in.