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Why I Serve: Airman Appreciates Opportunities in Military

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, March 11, 2005 – "Like anybody else, I've had bad and positive things happen to me in the military, but I always look at the brighter side of things," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacqueline Borrero.

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacqueline Borrero is an information manager in the public affairs office of Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Photo by Sgt. Scott Griffin, USA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Borrero is an information manager in the public affairs office for Joint Task Force Guantanamo. She said she chooses not to let negative experiences define her career.

Originally from Los Angeles, the 23-year-old airman joined the military for reasons that recruiters have been touting since the beginning of the all-volunteer force: quality health care, housing and education benefits.

Borrero said she most values the chance to further her education on the Air Force's dime. After four years in the Air Force, she's 11 credits short of her associate's degree through the Community College of the Air Force and hopes to keep working toward a bachelor's degree.

She also said she appreciates the high level of support she and her family receive from the Air Force. Borrero is married to another airman, who is assigned to a stateside base.

The couple has a 2-year-old daughter, Aurea. She said having her daughter during an overseas assignment to Germany was a very positive experience. "Everybody was just taking care of me, military and civilian," she said.

As an information manager, Borrero generally completes a lot of paperwork and works on computers. Her duties at "Gitmo" -- as troops generally refer to the island base -- are a little different, she said. Borrero's duties here include filing situation reports to higher headquarters and briefing newcomers to the base about the mission of the public affairs office.

Variety is just another thing Borrero said she likes about being in the Air Force. "I like doing different things, always keeping myself busy," she said.

She also said she appreciates that servicemembers here don't live in tents, as earlier rotations of troops did, but in air-conditioned, prefabricated buildings.

It's not all rosy here, though. Life's not always easy for a woman airman vastly outnumbered by men. What doesn't Borrero like about life at Gitmo? "The dirt, the heat, and all the guys."

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Related Sites:
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Joint Task Force Guantanamo
Why I Serve

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