Face of Defense: Deployed Airman Stays 'Close to Home'
By Air Force Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Office
TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan, April 3, 2012 Few service members can say they served a deployment with their family, but Air Force Airman 1st Class Marita McCoy is one who can.
Air Force Airman 1st Class Marita McCoy holds a picture of her stepmother and father on the flightline at the Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan, March 31, 2012. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
McCoy is assigned to the 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management office here and is deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. Her father and stepmother are contract employees who live in Kyrgyzstan and work here.
"This is my first deployment, and I was lucky enough to experience it with my father and stepmother," McCoy said. "Who can say they deployed and their family was there with them? I am so grateful for this opportunity."
McCoy said her mission here is similar to that at her home station, but the experience is different.
"At home, I was the shipment planner and had a lot more duties," she said. "It's a different experience here, but I enjoy it because I learn more about my job every day."
McCoy said she enjoys the convenience of being able to see her dad, who is a 376th Expeditionary Operations Group air traffic control instructor, and her stepmother, who works with the Defense Biometrics Identification Systems, part of 376th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron here.
"This deployment has been like a home away from home," McCoy said. "Any time I need to talk to my family, they are an email or a call away. I also enjoy having lunch with them whenever they are available."
With four months remaining on her tour, McCoy said, she would love to get off base and experience some more culture.
"I've had the opportunity to see another culture in person," she said. "It makes me appreciate all that I have. I want to find more time to do humanitarian assistance projects and fundraisers here."
McCoy said she is glad that the Transit Center was her first deployment.
"I have had some good experiences," she said. "I get to meet different people every day and learn about other people's jobs. I look forward to having new experiences during the remainder of my time here."