Mother, sergeant, P.A. – in that order
Recent professional honors: Meritorious Service Medal, 2010; Army Achievement Medal, 2010; League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Excellence in Military Service Award, 2009; Diversity Champion Leadership Award, 2009; Meritorious Service Medal, 2007; Army Good Conduct Medal, 2007; Afghanistan Campaign Medal, 2007; NATO Medal, 2007; Overseas Service Ribbon, 2007; Armed Forces Reserve Medal W/ M Device, 2007
Education: Associate of Science Degree; EMT certified; BLS Certified; Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for Professional Rescuer, 170+ college credits toward physician assistant school.
Deployment: I have been deployed once to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Duties: As an aviation operations sergeant, I supervise and assist the set up of the tactical operations center (TOC) while in a field environment. I am a shift supervisor in the TOC, overseeing five to six enlisted personnel from the S3 section. In a garrison environment, I provide guidance, supervision and training for proper flight following and operations procedures. I also help supervise the section as a whole with administrative paperwork such as promotions, awards and training plans.
Why aviation operation? I like to be in the know – aviation operation is the central hub of information. You have the big picture of the mission; it’s where the mission information comes into the office in little pieces and leaves as a finished product.
Who is your hero? My son. He was only 3 years old when we started the mobilization process out of state, and even at his very young age, he was very understanding and strong. He never asked why or cried when I had to go, but instead would wipe my tears when I would cry and tell me to stay strong. Without him it would have been a rough road.
Balancing service and personal life: It’s a challenge, but I try to not allow work to take over my personal life. I leave work and drill problems at work. I also try not to take my home problems with me to work. I give 110 percent to each, but each has their place. I try to make sure I spend enough time on things that are most important to me.
Next professional goal: I will be applying for physician assistant school in the fall. This will be my next big hurdle.