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Airmen create home away from home

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shay Stuart

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and if this wall could talk, you might hear it repeat another age-old adage “Be an owner, not a renter.”

Nine Airmen from the 379th Expeditionary Mission Support Group at Al Udeid Air Base took this saying to heart when they spent more than 250 hours volunteering to beautify and improve their main building.

What started as an effort to tidy the office space, became an idea that led to Airmen leaving their mark on AUAB for many years to come.

“Originally, we were talking about cleaning and rearranging the front office,” recalled Senior Master Sgt. Amanda Millsap, 379th EMSG Executive Administration Superintendent. “Staff Sgt. Hunter Krueger came up with the idea for an EMSG mural to leave the place better than how we found it.”

The Airmen decided the artwork would be displayed front and center. Anyone walking into the building will first lock eyes with a massive red octopus as it reaches its tentacles across the wall and suctions together five other paintings. Each squadron that falls under the EMSG has their own spot on the wall and it all blends together to form the mural.

“I think it's kind of cool how a vast majority of people who have never seen each other before in our lives, never spoken one sentence to each other, all came together to make one piece that all connected," said Airman 1st Class Joseph Worthington, contracting administrator with the 379th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron. “Kind of like when you’re putting pieces of a puzzle together.”

The majority of service members deployed to AUAB are only here for a short time. Some Airmen avoid getting comfortable and resist thinking of a deployed location as “home” when waiting to go back to friends and family. While people come and go, the installation remains and with it, each service member can leave a legacy.

“I think the best part about it for me, is my unit from my home station deploys frequently and so I know there will be people who will come here and take pictures and send them back to me,” said Airman 1st Class Destiny Stafford, contracting administrator with the 379 ECONS. “I think that’s what I’m most excited about is getting to see [their reactions] through those photos.”

Service members who use the buildings every day and begin to view AUAB as a home away from home make the biggest impact. Ideas for facility improvement can be brought to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron at 455-4357.