Saluting Military Moms

News

Saluting Military Moms

by: Stripes Okinawa | .
Stripes Korea | .
published: May 03, 2016

Name: Cierra Presentado             

Age: 24

Years in service: 5

Rank: Senior Airman

Years as Mom: 3

Child: Mario Presentado, 3

Current Duty Station and job: Andersen AFB, Guam. Public Affairs Photojournalist

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. Take photos at all base events, as well as documentation of the base. Write news articles/features on airmen and units.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. Some of my key responsibilities are making sure the house is clean. (Mario and I have a game we play where we see who can clean up the fastest, this way he gets in the habit of cleaning!). Also, I love to cook, so my son and I have bonding time in the kitchen when we make “fun” meals together!

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. I make my family my priority. When I know he’s taken care of, then I can work effectively and be proficient at my job!

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. On a recent deployment to Afghanistan, I was able to Facetime my family everyday as well as communicate through social media! Thank God for technology.

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. The Air Force is very supportive of me. They understand that family is important and they make sure my family and I are taken care of, deployed or on station.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. The best part about being a military mom is being able to provide for my family and travel the world. The Air Force has afforded us so many opportunities that I never would have imagined. And I look forward to the many years to come that I can enjoy doing this. Also, my son thinks I’m a super hero every time I put my uniform on, so I get the cool mom title.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. To spend the day watching movies and relaxing with my son!

 

 

 

 

Name: Renecia Lopez

Age: 28

Years in service: 8

Rank: SSgt

Years as Mom: 7

Kids: Adelina, 7; Aubree 5; Armando 1

Current Duty Station and job: Andersen AFB, Guam, Protocol

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. Directly support the wing commander and vice commander.  Direct special projects and tasks, provide training/support for all ceremonies and events.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. Make sure everyone gets out the door on time (with all their needed items), is “happy” during dinner and all homework gets done before bedtime! And, of course, ensure that everyone is happy and having fun in the process!!

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. I try to ensure that I equally balance both when I can.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. Through Facebook and video chats.

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. We are all like family, everyone helps to support you in anyway at any time. 

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

 A. My children.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A.I want have a relaxing day with my family at the beach and dinner.

 

 

 

Name: Kat Harper           

Age: 22

Years in service: 4+

Rank: Sergeant

Years as Mom: 7 months

Child: William, 7 months old

Current Duty Station and job: Okinawa, Japan/ Intelligence Analyst

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. Actively supervising daily tasks and duties of the Marines under me, and I’m also one of the 1st MAW CG’s briefers.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home? 

A. Wife, Mom to a 7-month-old baby, a 2-year-old Shiba Inu named Kiba, and a 2-year-old kitty rescue named Marbles.

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. It’s something that’s not very easy to do since both my husband and I are active-duty Marines. There are no gender roles at home, and whoever is able to pick up our son from day care, does so. I keep work at work, and once I walk through my front door I am dedicated to my husband and my little boy.

Q.How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. I have not been sent away since my son was born, so we have not encountered that issue.

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. Everyone in our chain of command is very supportive. They realize the challenges my husband and I go through raising a family and are very accommodating if an emergency comes up at home.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. I love coming home after a long day at work and seeing my son’s face light up as I walk through the door.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. The only thing I want is to sleep through the night.

 

 

 

 

Name: Brittany James

Age: 23

Years in service: 2 years, 8 months

Rank: Corporal

Years as Mom: 8 months

Child: Declan James, 8 months.

Current Duty Station and job: I am a combat correspondent with the Marine Corps Installations Pacific Public Affairs Office.

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. At work I attend events, whether it be military training, community relations or base functions. My responsibility is to tell the story through my writing and photography skills. I have internal office responsibilities as well. Such as weekly reports and editing stories from other Marines. 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. I have my daily routine during the work week. Once I arrive home from work, the baby is usually asleep in the car seat which gives me enough time to boil some vegetables and make some rice for myself for dinner. He usually wakes by the time it is done cooking so I put him in his high chair and feed him baby food while I simultaneously eat my dinner. After dinner, I put him down to play while I prepare his bottles and diaper bag for the next day of day care. Once finished, I bathe the baby, get him in his pajamas, feed him a bottle and lay him down to sleep. Once he is asleep, I shower and go to sleep.

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. As a single mother, my relationship with my son is my very top priority. I always make sure I have bonding time with him, even if that is just an extra 10 minutes of cuddle time before work. Being stationed in Okinawa, it is hard being separated from my immediate family who support me and my son, but I have amazing friendships here with people who I call my “Oki family.” In my off time, I go out with them and my son to have fun on the island. We’ve hiked to Hiji Falls and spent time laying in the sun at Okuma. Having a good balance between work and family is important because I feel that if I don’t feel connected to my son, I won’t be able to perform to my best ability at work. My son is who motivates me the most to improve myself every day.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. Being stationed overseas can make you feel very disconnected from family life back home. I stay connected with my immediate family by taking a lot of photos and sending videos of my son doing random things, such as shoving his whole fist in his mouth while trying to eat cereal puffs, or scooting across the floor for the first time. 

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. I feel very supported by the military community, there are so many resources that support service members and their families. I know if I ever need advice or  help I have someone to go to.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. The best thing about being a single military mom is knowing that everything I do is for my son. Yes, the days are long and dropping him off at daycare every day is hard, but doing that makes the moments that we do have together that much more precious. I work hard to provide for him, he makes me want to improve myself more to be a better mother for him.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. For Mother’s Day I want to spend the day with my son on the beach.

 

 

 

 

Name: Colleen Jones

Age: 34

Years in service: 15

Rank: MSgt

Years as Mom: 4.5

Children: Caitlin, 4; Paisley, 2

Current Duty Station and job: Kadena AB, Japan – AFN Okinawa Station Manager

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. Lead station broadcast operations & maintenance; oversees/guides 9 joint service members and 3 Japanese nationals. Manage radio and television Public Affairs themes and messages for 12 installations with 60K+ audience members. Manage $3.2M in broadcast operations equipment and $7.6M facility. Direct Air Force, Marine & Civilian personnel programs--ensures accountability & recognition of 12-member team.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. At home, my main job is to keep my two little girls healthy and happy.  Cooking, dressing, shopping, teaching, playing, reading and repeat every day of the year!  It is a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. This is hard and a constant struggle.  For me, planning and prioritizing are key.  I strive to be 100% present.  If I’m at work, I’m completely focused on the tasks at hand and when I’m home with my family, I give them my undivided attention and strive for quality time together.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. Facetime and frequent phone calls!

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. My experience in the military has been that it is very family-focused.  There are so many family events and programs and resources for children on base.  I also like that no matter where we move in the world, my children have a community that understands them and welcomes them in. 

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. The best part of being a military mom is getting to share the adventures of military life with my family.  It is a unique and special experience for my children to get to live in other countries.  My oldest daughter was born in Germany and is now starting pre-K in a Japanese school.  She’s learning about the culture first-hand instead of just through pictures and books.  There are a lot of hardships that come with military life, but I feel my girls will gain valuable insights about perspective and service by growing up as military children.  Teaching my kids about integrity and dedication is something that being a military mom helps me do.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. Hmmmmm . . . for Mother’s Day a nice breakfast with my family would be wonderful . . . and I wouldn’t turn down an hour or two at the spa.

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?

A. I’d just like to tell my husband and girls that they mean the world to me and I love them so much.

 

 

 

 

Name: Patty Blas             

Age: 29

Years in service: 7

Rank: E5

Years as Mom: 5

Child: Anthony Payton Blas, 5

Current Duty Station and job: NAF Misawa Unaccompanied housing Building Manager

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work? 

A. Keeping buildings clean and maintained, making sure UH roster is current based on resident information. Conducting weekly room inspections, assisting commands with room inspections, as well and also assisting residents with trouble call tickets.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. Keeping my son alive!!!! i.e., feeding him, providing a roof over his head, teaching him how to clean. Basically, making sure our home is functional, clean and a safe environment for my child.

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. I wouldn’t be able to do all that I do without the help of my husband! Multi-tasking, especially when you have school as well. I try to create a schedule, but it’s difficult to predict and keep track of,  so it’s a day-to-day thing.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. Emails, phone calls (apps.), Facebook and through mail. I came back from deployment last June, so this is fresh in my mind. But one thing my husband and I had was patience and understanding. Even when it got hard, I tried not to make decisions that would impact our marriage/family till we were together again.

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. I can’t say that it does. If anything being in the military is what causes a lot of the stress. But if I had to think, people in the military with families are the ones that’ll most likely support each other because they understand my situation.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. Being a role model for my son! He has someone to look up to and see what traveling feels like, something I never did till I joined the Navy, and even then I was already an adult.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. To hopefully not have duty lol … So I can spend it with my son and husband, which would be the first after 2-3 years of spending it away.

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?

A. Being an active-duty sailor and a mother is my proudest accomplishment!  The military is not for everyone and being a mother isn’t easy. Even more if you’re a single parent, which I am not, although I give credit to those who are. Because it is a difficult task to not only provide for yourself but also to another young human being.

 

 

 

 

Name: Raven Adelaide Harding

Age: 28

Years in service: Almost 8

Rank: E5

Years as Mom: 4

Child: Tristan Harding, 4

Current Duty Station and job:  NAF Misawa, ONE-Net TASO(Terminal Area Security Officer) for NIPR/SIPR, Comms tech

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work? 

A. Command TASO NIPR/SIPR, COMMS SEC, EKMS, CROSS MATCH FINGERPRINT TECHNICIAN, air-to-ground support technician, CC TV techs, Land Mobile tech, VTC Tech, Combo tech, Manage test equipment, Scales systems for PAO office, IDS, support deployed squadrons and tenant commands.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. Chef and maid to my son and dog. I’m constantly cleaning and preparing food. I am also a jungle gym, pillow, doctor and a comfort zone.

Q. How do you balance work and family? 

A. Carefully. I utilize CDC when available and when unavailable I ask friends.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed? 

A. Letters and Facebook

Q. How does the military community support you? 

A. The military community supports me by giving me the knowledge and ability to take care and protect my family. I can support them without having to worry about a roof over their head or food on the table.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom? 

A. I get to show my son the world, the different cultures, people, point of views and nature.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day? 

A. Family photos.

Q. Anything else you’d like to add? 

A. Being a single parent is hard, especially in the military. There are some things that I can’t participate in due to child care issues but I want other single parent to know that they should not give up on their dreams. Some sacrifices will have to be made, but as long as they have the will there will be a way to accomplish the goal.

 

 

 

 

Name: Hyemee Chun

Age: 43

Years in service: 14 ½

Rank: SSG

Years as Mom: 17

Child: Jimmyn K. Lee, 17

Current Duty Station and job: Yongsan, Korean Finance Operation NCOIC

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. Make sure all soldiers receive their entitlements correctly.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. Provide all my family’s needs.

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. Support from family and the unit.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. Via online and call on the phone.

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. After school program.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. Medical benefits and overseas travel.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. HTS Summer Job.

 

 

 

 

Name: Tamika Diaz

Age: 32

Years in Service: 8

Rank:  Sergeant

Years as Mom: 14

Children:  Journi, 14; Survis, 6

Current Duty Station and Job:  Yongsan. NCOIC at the JMMT postal Sergeant

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. I am responsible for training, supervising and mentoring two NCOs who have nice soldiers amongst them. I work at the Joint Military Mail Terminal (JMMT) in Incheon.  I enforce the mail procedures, preserving the integrity of the mail that comes in and out of the country. I ensure the mail is dispatched to the various APO post offices with zero delay and free of incidents. And the outbound mail is processed expeditiously by class of mail to their respective locations.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. Besides ensuring their basic needs are met, having daughters that are 8 years apart they don’t always share the same interest.  I make time to spend with each of them separately, focusing on their individual interests and doing what they like.  Journi is into shopping, getting her nails and hair done or just watching you-tube. Sur’vis enjoys playing outdoors and playing with her dolls.

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. I pray! And of course Journi is my rock. She has been my biggest supporter during my tour here in Korea. She helps me out tremendously, whether picking up her sister from the CDC, or helping her with homework.  What gets me through both roles as a parent and a Soldier is incorporating the two without combining them. Meaning, when I am work, the mission is always first. However, I am able to connect with my soldiers because my maternal instincts kick in often:  “You know, moms knows everything.” So I am able to detect the good things and no so good things, I am able to tap into my empathetic side if need be. Being a leader, there is no on or off switch. So, when I am at home, my girls and I discuss our day every evening. By doing so, I get a glimpse into their world with school and their interaction with friends. By me sharing my day, they get a better understanding of my role as a soldier, so when I have to go in on an off day or break from having family time to take a call, they get it. Lastly, personal time. Moms need “me time” to just love on themselves, too. Whether it’s lying in bed all day lol, or getting my hair done, I make time to relax, regroup my thoughts, refocus and reinforce my plans.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. I am vocal; I enjoy making phones calls because it’s personal connection for me. I love hearing my families’ West Indian accents when I call, it’s very nostalgic for me. It takes me back down memory lane of our lives back in our birth island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. And hearing my voice, comforts them knowing I am doing Okay.

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. The Child and Youth School Service has been a big support for me here in Yongsan. I depend on their Before and After School Program to facilitate taking Survis to and from school, as well as keeping her safe until I am off work.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. For me, it’s the ability to be an individual, a woman with financial freedom, it gives me independence and an opportunity to serve my country. Then add mother to that, that’s a very Power Woman. So the best part for me would be the strength both roles have given me to combat and conquer all Life’s experiences.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. Journi, girl I hope your reading this lol  Mommy wants pajamas. 

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?

A.I would like to wish all Mothers, a Happy Mother’s day. Though the journey is never easy, but nothing good ever is. Keep the faith, stay strong, and keep trotting on.

 

 

 

 

Name: Masle Anastasia

Age: 27

Years in service: 3

Rank: SPC

Years as Mom:

Children: Alisa, 4; Sasha, 1

Current Duty Station and job: Yongsan Garrison, Reserve Pay Clerk

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. Make sure reserve soldiers performing duties in Korea are getting paid.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. Teach my kids what is right and wrong.

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. Concentrate on one thing at a time.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. Skype, emails, paper letters.

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. Different programs for kids and community events.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. Kids can see the world with me. I also get chances to meet different people and experience different culture.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. Spa day or sleep in very late.

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?

A. Both jobs, military and a mom, can be stressful and difficult. But both are very rewarding as well.

 

 

 

 

Name: Jade Kaaihue

Age: 34

Years in service: 16 years

Rank: SFC

Years as Mom: 15 years

Children: Dsiris Alnur, 15; Daniel Kaaihue, 13; Lauren Afkerson, 6

Current Duty Station and job: Camp Henry, Detachment Sergeant

 

Q. What are your key responsibilities at work?

A. Responsible for soldiers, organization and completing the mission.

Q. What are your key responsibilities at home?

A. Cook, clean, dress child, assist with T-Ball, bread winner.

Q. How do you balance work and family?

A. Unable to balance. I have great babysitters.

Q. How do you keep in touch with family when you are TDY or deployed?

A. Face time, calls and messages through Facebook.

Q. How does the military community support you?

A. By giving me more work. But support services allow my children to play sports and learn how to swim. In addition, they provide classes that show you how to cope with deployments.

Q. What’s the best part of being a military mom?

A. My family is proud of what I do.

Q. What do you want for Mother’s Day?

A. Sleep.

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?

A.I am happy and proud that my family supports me.

 

Tags: News
Related Content: No related content is available