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380AEW Article

(Part 4) In their words: Deployed Airmen enduring the holidays

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tyler Woodward
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The following is a transcription of an interview with Senior Airman Marisa, 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron weapons director, which was recorded Nov. 28, 2016. We continue a series of Questions and Answers based on how deployed members stay resilient while away from home during the holidays.

How many deployments have you been on?

Marisa: This is my third deployment.

What do you hope to get out of this deployment?

Marisa: I want to expand in my career. I want to be able to say that I did things that are going down in history. I want to be a better controller all the way around and I want to be better at every part of being an Airman.

What do you do in your free time to help time pass while deployed?

Marisa: I always make sure I call home. We’ve found ways to make that work when everyone back home is awake. This deployment, the group of people I’m with has made a huge difference. I don't know what I would do without Ri, Diver, Huddy, Jamie, Biscuit, Joshie, Tay Tay, Tori, Glass 1 and Glass 2. We’re like a family. It’s actually amazing. So, they are really helping. We all hang out. We don’t talk about work. We just take our minds off of everything. The only thing we’re missing is a bonfire.

What’s been the hardest thing while being away from your family and friends during the holidays?

Marisa: Well, one thing is my family is getting old. So that’s tough. You never know when this Christmas is going to be their last Christmas. Another hard part, this is my first Christmas being married to my husband. We’re used to being together because we are in the same career field, same job and we’ve actually deployed together. This is the first time all of our holidays will be spent separated.
For you, what does it mean to be resilient?

What does resiliency mean to you?

Marisa: Resiliency means staying focused not just on the mission but yourself as well. It’s making sure everyone is taken care of, including yourself. It’s important to realize if you’re not good the mission is not good. You know, I come into work every day smiling. My mind’s already made up. If my smile can make someone else smile then we’ve done what we’re supposed to do.

If you could tell someone one thing to help them stay resilient through deployments what would it be?

Marisa: The holidays are super important to me. But, it’s not where you are at that makes a holiday. It’s who you are with, the friends you make and the people who make you smile. So, I would tell someone who is having a tough time that this isn’t a bad life. It’s just a bad day. You’re going to get through this.

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