Tinker Airmen send care packages to deployed ‘family’

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Ericson T. Wolford
  • 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
 It is never easy for Airmen to leave our families for an extended period of time. Whether it's for one year or six months, makes no difference. The constant worry for our family while we are deployed adds one more dynamic to an already arduous situation. However, being away from family over the holiday season is even harder still.

The 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, in conjunction with the 552nd Maintenance Operations Flight, the 552nd Maintenance squadron and the 552nd Group Key Spouses, came together to take care of the 111 deployed members over the holidays by sending care packages and holiday cards.

Although these packages can never replace time at home with families, they have a tremendous positive impact on overall morale. Master Sgt. Benjamin Kastama, Red AMU Section chief, said, "When I deployed I remember how much I appreciated the thoughtfulness and how much it meant to know my unit didn't forget about me while I was gone."

Master Sgt. Michael Mowatt, Red AMU Section chief, said it's hard to understand what it means to be away from your family and friends over the holidays. "A simple reminder from home can make all the difference," Sergeant Mowatt said.

Tech. Sgt. Clint Abston, Red AMU Specialist Section chief, said he was deployed this time last year and he did not receive anything. "This small gesture goes a long way in a deployed location," he said.

Capt. Mary Gutierrez, the deployed officer in charge, agreed.

"We got all the goodies you sent," Captain Gutierrez said in an email. "Everything was great! A lot of the guys moaned and groaned because they're trying to watch their weight and now have even more temptations to eat junk food. It's a great problem to have."
Lt. Col. Ronald Llantada, 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander, said one of his priorities is ensuring deployed members are never forgotten.

"This is important because they sacrificed their time with their families, so we can be with ours," the colonel said. "They deserve the care packages we built for them. They are our family."

The 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, with the 552nd Maintenance Group, showed that with a little effort and thought, a small gesture will always remain significant to those who are gone.