Category: Military News and Support
By unitedweroll on Feb 16, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Salute to Marine Corps Capt. Brian Jordan upon receipt of British Honor and to all members of the crew who made the decision to land and save the lives of wounded British soldiers. Thank You!
Face of Defense: Marine Aviator Receives British Honor
By Marine Corps Sgt. Justin M. Boling
Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps
FORT MEADE, Md., Feb. 13, 2014 – A UH-1Y Venom helicopter pilot received the British Distinguished Flying Cross yesterday at the British Embassy in Washington.
Marine Corps Capt. Brian Jordan, the second Marine aviator to earn the medal since World War II, was honored for his actions June 21, 2012, while deployed in Afghanistan.
“This has been a very amazing and humbling experience for me,” Jordan said. “I really am accepting this on behalf of my flight crew and all of the maintainers who work tirelessly on keeping these aircraft operating. Without them, none of these actions would have been possible.”
Jordan said he the direct efforts of his aircrew -- Capt. Joshua Miller, Gunnery Sgt. Andrew Bond, Staff Sgt. Steven Seay and Cpl. Joshua Martinez – made the award possible. The captain also gave credit to the support of Lt. Col. Stephen Lightfoot and Capt. Frank Jublonski, the pilots of the AH-1Z Viper Super Cobra accompanying them on the mission.
“I am happy for him and anyone else who could accomplish something like this,” said Bond, the crew chief during the mission. “I am very proud of him.”
Jordan arrived on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in late May 2012 with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469. He and his flight crew were tasked with a mission to support the British Grenadier Guards.
“We worked together as a constant combat crew, and I had become very used to working with him,” Bond, with more than 14 years of experience, said. “Still being a relatively young pilot, he was doing well and was always open to listen to us.”
The squadron’s aircraft spent 40 minutes providing reconnaissance of buildings surrounding the area the guardsmen were patrolling, and when requested, they supplied cover fire. Jordan and his aircrew had depleted most of their fuel and spent ordinance to suppress an enemy attack, which had pinned down the British soldiers.
Jordan and his crew were preparing to return to Bastion when they saw an explosion.
“I remember the [joint tactical air controller] saying over the radio, ‘Man Down, man down, request immediate medevac,” Jordan said. “One of the guardsmen had stepped on an [improvised explosive device]. He had lost a limb and was going into shock.”
Jordan and his crew began to discuss the situation and began preparing a medical evacuation request form for higher headquarters.
“It can be a little frustrating at times, but you have to follow the orders you are briefed,” Bond said. “The end state was somebody needs our help, and you don’t want to let them down.”
The crew calculated it would take more than 30 minutes for another aircraft to come and pick up the two wounded British guardsmen.
“I talked to the crew, and we made the assessment that we were all comfortable with going down to pick up the wounded soldier,” Jordan said. “We then heard over the radio that there was no time and he won’t make it. We all agreed this is what we need to do. We talked to our section leader and told him our intention, and he said they would provide cover fire as we went down for the pick.”
“Both Staff Sergeant Seay and I are search and rescue qualified, so we began to rearrange and prepare the inside of the aircraft the best we could,” Bond said.
The aircrew landed between enemy fighters and the British troops to pick up the wounded soldiers.
“The situation made it feel like we were on the ground for an eternity,” Jordan said, “even though we could not have been on the ground for more than 10 seconds. Both aircraft were in a very low fuel state. We pulled full torque and got the soldier back to Bastion for medical attention.”
Both wounded British soldiers survived.
“I feel like we were just doing our duty,” Jordan said. “We took the actions we needed to make sure we saved a soldier’s life. Do I think I went above and beyond? No, absolutely not. We are just doing our job to support all the ground forces in any way possible.”
Jordan is preparing to serve as a pilot instructor at Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. He will teach newly commissioned pilots to fly the UH-1Y Venom.
“You go through a lot of training to make sure you can make the hard decision when things do not go the way you anticipate,” Jordan said. “It is not just pilots. It is all Marines — Marines always do what is right.”
By unitedweroll on Feb 16, 2014 | In Military News and Support
You may be one of many Americans who are not aware of Lajes Field, which is located on the island of Terceira in the Azore Islands. This field is home to the 65th Air Base Wing. The following article brings news of the storm that caused damages to some of the facilities and housing. There are no reports of injuries in the following article, so we hope everyone is well and recovery is on the way.
Lajes Field hit with strong winds, recovery underway
by Capt. Mark Graff
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
2/14/2014 - LAJES FIELD, Azores -- Lajes Field was hit with a low pressure weather system Feb. 13, and strong winds caused damages to base facilities and military family housing here.
Gusts as high as 100 miles per hour were reported on Terceira, the mid-Atlantic, Azorean Island where the 65th Air Base Wing is located. The 65th Operations Support Squadron weather flight recorded winds at 89 miles per hour at 12:37 p.m., Feb. 13.
"All personnel are accounted for and no injuries have been reported to date," said Col. Chris Bargery, 65th ABW commander. "We have sustained some damages to facilities, but our wing mission remains intact and our airfield is operational."
Personnel assigned to the 65th ABW - including local national employees - and U.S. Air Force tenant units were released early Feb. 13 and the wing commander authorized delayed reporting for Feb. 14.
"Throughout the entire situation, 65th Air Base Wing leaders were focused on the safety and well-being of Lajes Airmen," said Bargery. "Our damage assessment teams, first responders, emergency operations center team and Airmen at every level acted safely and conservatively."
The wing's emergency operations center and crisis action team were activated to ensure personnel safety and accountability, assess damages, direct repairs and ensure essential services remained operational. Some units - including the 65th OSS weather flight and the 65th Civil Engineer Squadron unit control center - worked overnight to provide updates and assess damage.
As of Feb. 14, personnel were reporting to work as usual.
"The base is starting to return to normal," said Bargery. "We're pleased to be opening facilities and services to our community. But we need everyone to go into the weekend and be more careful and conservative in their decision-making."
Significant damages included downed trees and limbs, portions of clay-tile roofing, downed power lines and fencing, broken street lights and some personal property damages.
Damage assessment and response teams from the 65th CES evaluated damages and completed repairs, said Maj. Timothy Barnard, 65th CES director of operations. Barnard led the unit control center and dispatched assessment teams throughout the night.
"Our teams have noted a total of 133 items damaged and we have already made repairs to 12 of those items," said Barnard. "We will continue making repairs as conditions allow. We have to be mindful of safety considerations as we send our repair teams out, of course."
One major repair the CES teams made was to restore base power, said Barnard. The majority of the base temporarily lost power during the storm.
"Our electrical crews restored power to the base in about an hour after a power feeder went down," the major said. "They isolated the broken wiring phase and re-routed power to the main base. Most importantly, we never lost power to the airfield."
Barnard encouraged Lajes Airmen to remain safe as they collect debris, especially in base housing.
"We're asking people to remain very safe and mindful that the clay roof tiles may continue to come loose and blow around. Those objects are quite heavy, so just be safe," Barnard said.
Lajes Field personnel who had personal property damaged due to the storm should work with the 65th ABW legal office to file a claim. Those who wish to file a claim should call 535-3546.
Security personnel from the 65th Security Forces Squadron worked with their Portuguese Air Force counterparts throughout the night, said Maj. Lawrence Wyatt, 65th SFS commander.
"Defenders from the U.S. and Portuguese Air Force teamed to secure some downed perimeter fences, but the base remained secure at all times," said Wyatt. "We also ensure mobile patrols occurred within base housing all evening."
U.S. Air Force personnel are coordinating response and recovery operations with the Portuguese Air Force.
By unitedweroll on Feb 16, 2014 | In Military News and Support
As with most any weather system that puts fellow Americans in danger, members of the National Guard were out and helping in a variety of ways. Once you have been rescued by these men and women, you will never forget it - from one who knows! We hope the rest of our country also is aware of everything that our National Guard Members & families do for our country, our communities and our families.
Soldiers and Airmen in nine states helping as storm pummels South and Middle Atlantic
By Staff Sgt. Tracci Dorgan
South Carolina National Guard
GAFFNEY, S.C. (2/13/14) - The mammoth winter storm that sliced through southern and Middle Atlantic states Wednesday was keeping about 3,000 National Guard members busy in nine states and the District of Columbia.
As daylight was coming to an end, forecasters predicted more precipitation in some areas, taking the form of either snow, sleet or a mix of both.
Soldiers and Airmen were assisting local authorities in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, according to the National Guard Bureau and other officials.
On Wednesday night, as the snow fell on Delaware, Soldiers and Airmen were prepositioned in each of the three counties. The majority of missions involved transportation. "So far we have transported patients to the Veterans Administration Hospital for dialysis treatment, medical workers to the Christiana Hospital to start work shifts, and first responders to emergency operations centers," said Col. Dallas Wingate, the Delaware Guard's Director of Military Support.
In the District of Columbia, National Guard personnel were called up Wednesday by order of the Secretary of the Army.
Air Guard and active duty personnel from the 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Md., were clearing snow to keep the D.C. Guard's 24/7 alert mission up and running throughout the storm, protecting the skies over the nation's capital with F-16 fighters standing by, a mission they have had since 9/11.
D.C. National Guard soldiers and airmen are conducting 24-hour operations at the D.C. National Guard Armory, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, in D.C., Davison Army Airfield, Va., and Joint Base Andrews. One of their jobs is to transport Metropolitan Police and Fire personnel to duty.
"Our hearts go out to those who have had their homes or property damaged in this storm," D.C. National Guard Commanding General Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz said. "We are doing everything we can to help the city return to normal operations. The city has asked for us for help, and we are responding, just as we always have in every emergency throughout its history."
Guard personnel said that prepositioning resources helped officials deal with the effects of the ice and snow, which pummeled areas already hard hit by a storm late last month that paralyzed areas of Georgia.
"We accomplished our objective of getting our units into place before the snow started to fall, and now we are staged and ready to assist with response operations if we are needed," said. Col. James Zollar, director of joint operations for the Virginia National Guard.
Typical of the responses was in South Carolina, where Army National Guard wrecker teams moved out in full force to help during the winter storm that made roads dangerous around the Southeast.
Wrecker teams were stationed throughout the state to help wherever they were called Wednesday, when the storm began.
Staff Sgt. Richard Krause was one of more than 100 Soldiers put on state active duty to support one of 14 wrecker teams from the South Carolina Army National Guard assigned to assist the state Department of Public Safety.
Krause is a maintenance sergeant for the 124th Engineer Company in Saluda and was assigned to wrecker team 5. His team was comprised of other soldiers who live and work around the Columbia area, but were tasked with providing assistance in the Gaffney area.
The team was prepositioned in the Upstate off of I-85 to be ready for whatever was needed.
"We recovered an 18-wheeler that broke down, partially blocking a lane, on I-85," said Krause. "He was having transmission problems and couldn't drive anymore. He was stuck for more than three hours before we got the call to help him. We arrived and towed him to the next exit where he was able to park his truck safely and get out of the storm."
Krause said no other towing vehicles could reach him so it was important for a larger towing vehicle to get him clear of the road to keep all lanes clear on the highway. The South Carolina Army National Guard's 1089 A-1 wrecker weighs about 80,000 pounds, so it was able to safely drive on ice-covered roads.
The wrecker team, in addition to Krause, included Staff Sgt. Jeffery Shaw, Sgt. Chris Barefoot and Sgt. Chris Grant. They were able to move the 18-wheeler off the road within 30 minutes of arriving.
"The team and I were happy we were able use our skills to help our community," Krause said. "We were here before we were needed, staged off exit 90 at the Pilot gas station, ready to help. Because of our planning, we were able to respond quickly when we were needed."
Krause said he was humbled by the number of people who stopped by and expressed their gratitude to the wrecker team while they waited to respond to calls.
Throughout the day and into the night, they, along with other wrecker teams also responded to calls for assistance by stranded motorists and other 18-wheelers who were stuck in areas around Spartanburg, Inman, as well as Gaffney.
"It was a great experience to be able to help," said Krause. "People who passed us were happy for us just being there."
The situation was much the same in North Carolina, where a television news crew came across state National Guard members working to free a stuck civilian ambulance and fire truck. The Soldiers helped reinforce a crucial message in these types of emergencies: Don't travel on the roads unless you absolutely must.
Contributing: Steve Marshall of the National Guard Bureau
By unitedweroll on Feb 10, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Blog Note: Members of our National Guard and Reserve Armed Forces do not just get together for a weekend every couple of weeks. They constantly train and they are frequently called out here at home to save our communities and our lives. Snowstorms, hurricanes, fires, floods - whatever and wherever help is needed, we can rely on these dedicated Americans.
Posted 2/9/2014 Updated 2/10/2014
by 2nd Lt. Leslie Forshaw
920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
2/9/2014 - PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla -- Rescue Airmen at the 920th Rescue Wing used their new training tower for the first time Feb 9. The tower is specifically designed to prepare them for the battlefield by simulating a variety of rescue environments.
Although the Guardian Angel Training Tower was user-ready Jan. 1, the GAs had to develop standard operating and safety procedures for command approval, said Chief Master Sgt. Doug Kestranek, 308th Rescue Squadron chief enlisted manager.
From simulated elevator shafts to rappel stations off the top of the tower, reservists will train to rescue personnel in need. "It looks all clean and pretty now, but it's my intention to keep it dirty with boot marks," said Kestranek.
This is one more tool the rescue airmen will use to train to save lives, living by their motto, "That others may live."
Ref: Original article and photos - http://www.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123379625
United We Roll World Tour to broadcast two shows this week (2/10 - 2/12/14) with deployed interviews.
By unitedweroll on Feb 9, 2014 | In Military News and Support
United We Roll World Tour Show
Stardust Radio Network Inc www.stardustradio.com
Due to the number of outstanding interviews we have to share with you this
week from South Korea, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and Southwest Asia, we
will broadcast two shows.
Show #1 will be live on Monday 2/10 at 6pm Central with a repeat on
Tuesday 2/11 at 6pm.
Show #2 will be live on Tuesday 2/11 at 1pm Central with a repeat on
Wednesday 2/12 at 6pm Central
SHOW #1 Unit - US ARMY 2CAB
We thank you for joining us on Monday, Feb 10th of 2014
for the first of two shows we are bringing to you this week.
This first show will include our very interesting visits with members of the
US Army's 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade who are serving in South Korea.
Both of our guests are from Headquarters and Headquarters Company of 2 Combat Aviation Brigade).
Our first guest is SFC (Sergeant First Class) Janelle Harris, who is the NCO in charge of Enlisted Operations for the Battalion. Our second guest is SFC Dan Hester, who is the Medical Operations NCOIC (Non Commissioned Officer In Charge).
Both SFC Harris and SFC Hester bring a wealth of information from their years of service in the medical field and as mentors to the younger soldiers in their units. After hearing from both of these soldiers, there is no question as to how they attained the rank of SFC, one which requires exemplary people skills among many other exceptional talents.
Monday 02/10/14 6:00pm - 7:55pm Central (Live)
Tuesday 02/11/14 6:00pm - 7:55pm Central (Repeat)
United We Roll World Tour at Stardust Radio Network, Inc
www.stardustradio.com - click Listen Live button
SCHEDULE FOR SHOW #1
6:00pm - Introduction / Announcements
2nd CAB / Talons
Interview #1 (appr 6:10pm/6:10pm) - SFC Janelle Harris
HHC 2 CAB
Interview #2 (appr 6:53pm/6:53pm) - SFC Dan Hester
HHC 2 CAB
Our show will end appr 7:55pm Central. If you are not able to stay through the show
on Monday, it will repeat on Tuesday, Feb 11th, at 6:00pm Central. Within one week
after the repeat show has been broadcast, an MP3 copy will be posted on the Stardust
Radio Network Inc Archive site at www.stardustradio.info for your listening and/or
end of show #1 - start of show #2
United We Roll Show #2
Tuesday 02/11/14 1:00pm - 3:00pm Central (Live)
Wednesday 02/12/14 6:00pm - 8:00pm Central (Repeat)
Show #2 Units: 376 AEW and 386 AEW
Welcome Stardust Listeners -
We thank you for joining us on Tuesday, Feb 11th of 2014.
We bring you show #2 for this week where we are honored to bring you three new visits with deployed members from two different units who are serving in countries thousands of miles from home and loved ones.
The first two of our visits come from Southwest Asia and the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing/The Rock. Both of our guests serve with the 386 ESFS (Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron), although they do so in mostly different areas. SSgt Kevin J Arndt, who is assigned to off base patrols, and SrA Jyssika E Lewis, whose duties are split among patrols, gate, dispatch and more, both bring us interesting information and visits that are filled with pride and inspiration.
It is amazing that such enthusiasm for service comes from both a member with 10 and 1/2 years of service and another with less than 4 years.
Our third and final visit for today comes from the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and the Transit Center at Manas, that is currently home to the 376th AEW (Air Expeditionary Wing) "Liberandos". From here, we bring a delightful visit with New York native SrA Matthew L Blaquiere, who is serving with the 376 ECES SE (Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron Security Escort). Deployment duties require a lot of outdoor work, which can be pretty tough in this country where winters are brutally cold. SrA Blaquiere shares with us how they manage to take care of fingers and toes and much more about his work with people from the local community outside the base. Humor, enthusiasm and pride once again make this visit very enjoyable as we learn more about our Heroes of Freedom.
We believe you will find our visits today to once again be educational as well as inspirational. We hope that you will join us again next Tuesday, February 18th, for more new visits with members from our units.
United We Roll World Tour at Stardust Radio Network, Inc
www.stardustradio.com - click Listen Live button
SCHEDULE FOR SHOW #2
Tuesday 2/11/14 1:00pm Central (Live)
Wednesday 2/12/14 6:00pm Central (Repeat)
1:00pm - Introduction / Announcements
386 AEW / The Rock
Interview #1 (appr 1:10pm/7:10pm) - SSgt Kevin J Arndt
Interview #2 (appr 1:46pm/7:46pm) - SrA Jyssika E Lewis
376 AEW / "Liberandos"
Interview #3 (appr 2:18pm/7:18pm) - SrA Matthew L Blaquiere
376 ECES SE / Transit Center at Manas
Republic of Kyrgyzstan
Live show on Tuesday ends at appr 3:00pm Central
Repeat show on Wednesday ends at appr 8:00pm Central
If you are not able to stay through the show on Tuesday, it will repeat on Wednesday,
February 12th, at 6:00pm Central. Within one week after the repeat show has been broadcast, an MP3 copy will be posted on the Stardust Radio Network Inc Archive site at www.stardustradio.info.
Southwest Asia is 9 hours ahead of US Central Standard Time.
The Republic of Kyrgyzstan is 12 hours of US Central Standard Time.
The Republic of Korea is 14 hours ahead of US Central Standard Time.
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Who Serve To Protect Our Freedom...
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The words Thank You will never be big enough,
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By unitedweroll on Feb 8, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Taking care of the house, the yard and the vehicles. Calling for repairs when the plumbing clogs up or the refrigerator stops cooling. Trying to put the kids down to sleep when the air conditioner is not working and they are hot and cranky. Getting the kids to school or daycare, to sports or dance classes, to the dentist or to the doctor. Getting the four legged kids to their Veterinarians for their shots, hauling bags of food, making sure to give the flea and heartworm treatments. Paying the bills before they are due and keeping the accounts organized. Cleaning, laundry, cooking meals, grocery shopping.
Those are just a few of the chores a spouse at home takes care of by themself when their husband or wife is on deployment.
We have not even touched on things that he or she may need to do for themselves. Things like their job. Sleep, exercise, time to enjoy an energizing shower or a relaxing bath and maybe a lunch with friends who could be going through the same situation.
But that does not keep them from doing even more. Many serve - catch that word SERVE - in programs to help other spouses/families in a variety of ways from learning what it is like to be a military spouse to explaining what a deployment is, what to expect and how to get through it.
The following article is about one such wife who has been appointed as the unit's Key Spouse. We often hear our guests say that they could not serve without their spouse. I think it is fair to say that a large part of the success of our Armed Forces is due to the significant parts filled by family members.
Key spouse unlocks program for deploying squadron
by 1st Lt. Lori Fiorello
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
2/4/2014 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- For a couple who are still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, married just over three years and never separated more than two weeks, an upcoming deployment could certainly raise emotions. While Senior Master Sgt. Mark Gosling, 36th Aerial Port Squadron air transportation operations center superintendent and other deploying members of the 36th APS ramp up their mission readiness, his wife Cindi puts her anxieties aside and embraces her new role as the unit's key spouse.
"I know it's going to be hard because we're going to be apart for both of our birthdays, our anniversary, and my graduation this summer," said the master's in special education candidate who is expected to graduate from Walden University in Minneapolis, Minn. "But I'm used to it ... my dad deployed all the time when I was growing up."
In a memorandum to all squadron commanders and first sergeants regarding the Key Spouse Program dated May 14, 2013, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III wrote, "We recruit Airmen but retain families. We have a sacred responsibility to care for both."
Welsh's memo also noted, "Military families make a significant commitment to support our service to the Nation. They need to know what resources are available when they face life's toughest storms. Key Spouses can help in a huge way by pointing families to agencies that provide a 'shelter' during those times."
"I'm extremely excited about being the unit's key spouse," said Cindi. "When I was growing up with my dad in the military, we didn't have these kinds of programs. It's such a big deal to include the families."
The Key Spouse Program is designed to support military families by enhancing readiness and establishing a sense of Air Force community. Key spouse volunteers are formally appointed by the unit and trained by the 446th Force Support Squadron's Airman and Family Readiness Center to serve as a connection between military spouses and families to leadership.
"Having a liaison between the unit and the families is important," said Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Walsh, key spouse program manager for the A&FRC. "A key spouse is someone they can ask questions to, who has the connections within the chain of command and who supports both the family and the service member in helping to accomplish the mission."
The idea of becoming a key spouse began for Cindi when the couple attended a Yellow Ribbon event in preparation for Gosling's projected deployment.
"It gave us a positive feeling about what was going to happen," said Cindi. "The Air Force was helping us feel like it would be a positive experience versus a traumatic one."
According to the Yellow Ribbon Program website, the Air Force Reserve Yellow Ribbon Program is a series of events designed to provide Airmen and families with essential resources prior to departure (pre-deployment), a level of stability and support while deployed (during deployment), and successful re-integration techniques after the deployment cycle ends (post deployment).
Cindi was touched by her experience at the Yellow Ribbon event and wanted to share what she learned within her husband's unit.
"There were families there that have just returned and families that are preparing to depart like we were," said Cindi, a special education teacher in the Renton School District. "We got to see the before and after, before the deployment even happened.
"My goal is to help the younger families (without prior deployment experiences) to be comfortable with everything."
Cindi is planning to help the spouses and families of the 36th APS ensure a sense of community by planning monthly 'meet and greets' and organizing day and weekend trips that offer something to look forward to every month. She also encourages them to attend a Yellow Ribbon event and uses social media outlets as a means of communication to include the spouses that are geographically separated.
"I am so very proud of my husband and every single member of the Air Force," she said. "I consider many of the men and women in Mark's unit to be good friends and even like members of our extended family."
For Walsh, who has worked with the A&FRC for two years, her support for the Key Spouse Program hits home in a different way.
"To me, this program hits on a personal level," she said. "I'm a widow ... my husband was a police officer and he passed away unexpectedly at age 34.
"Lucky for me, when I got the notification, I had friends that were close to me in the (police) department who were there to help me through it."
Walsh understands the importance of a support system during the good and the bad times.
"I think (the connections) need to start before the deployment for spouses to feel comfortable and establish that friendly face," said Walsh. "So if something tragic does come up, you would have that shoulder when you need it."
Cindi calls herself the "rookie wife" but has great plans for supporting her husband's unit.
"I truly hope that I am able to make a difference now, while my husband is deployed, and in the future."