148th Airmen Overseas: "I'm Proud to Be Here."

Updated: February 21, 2018 05:43 PM

For Senior Master Sgt. David Churchill, this deployment feels different. "I've deployed around the United States. But for the first time, I feel like I'm having an impact on the actual efforts to keep this world safe," he said from Al Dhafra Air Base. And this is having a profound effect on him. "Seeing how it impacts our country, and how we're saving lives, and taking out enemies, that touches me."

Advertisement – Content Continues Below

He's handling the plans and resources branch, knowledge management branch, and the cyber security shop. One of the highlights for him has been working with the younger airmen. He said that deployments like this give everyone a chance to improve themselves, and the 148th as a whole. 

"Everything they learn here, they take back to the home unit, and make our unit better," he said.

Others who are part of the cyber-security world weighed in as well. Staff Sgt. Blake Forcier said, "I love my job. I get to report any type of cyber incident. I'm very passionate about security. And in today's world especially, it's a big concern of ours."

He uses his training from home, and brings it into the field, ready for it all.

"I'm proud to be here, and represent home and the 148th Fighter Wing. I love to wear that on my shoulders," he told us. 

Being away from home can be hard. But the Family Readiness Group and others are providing support. "You know, you hear about a snowstorm, and you're wondering if your basement is going to flood. There are freak-out moments. But technology these days, with video chat, that's been huge for me, personally," Forcier said.

And being ready for anything, is key. Tech Sgt. Derrick Tuomi told us, "The guard, our unit, prepared me for our deployment really well. Our size, you know, you have one on one time. You know your deployment manager personally. It's more like a family, really."

When they're not on duty, they have been able to go off-base. "The locals have been incredibly friendly. This is an allied country. I definitely feel safe, and more welcome than I thought I would. And I'm learning a lot from the culture," Tuomi added. He and Forcier have even been able to squeeze in a game of golf!

A taste of home, in a faraway land. Things like care package, do make all the difference.

"All the technology, can't do justice to what it feels like to hold a card. To physically get something from home. To smell the perfume from your wife, or the cologne from your husband, and know how good that feels," Churchill said.

Thank you, to our Bulldogs serving our country, and to their families, who are sacrificing as well. And thank you again to Tech Sgt. Lynette Hoke, for bringing us the interviews from the airmen.


Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

Relay Media Amp

Authorities Probe Minneapolis Police Shooting

One Man Sent to Hospital After Stabbing in Duluth

Joseph Nease Gallery Announces James Brinsfield Exhibition

Community Members Enjoy CHUM Rhubarb Festival

Volunteers Clean Up Skyline Parkway

City of Duluth to Conduct Maintenance on Lakewalk Starting Tuesday