Deployment -- It is what you make of it

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Taylor Crul
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Since joining the Air Force, I have often heard the saying, “it is what you make of it.”

The base is what you make of it. The job is what you make of it. And most recently, a deployment is what you make of it.

In the summer of 2018, I was deployed to Southwest Asia for Other-Country-National escort duty for 200 days.

It was not exactly the deployment I wanted, or even knew about, but it was the one I got, so I planned on making the best of it.

As force protection, my job was to escort OCNs to ensure compliance with all rules and regulations to help maintain the security of the base. I regularly volunteered to search vehicles as an augmentee with Security Forces.

My Air Force specialty code is 3NOX5, public affairs. I work in the Public Affairs Office at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

I enjoy my job very much, and look forward to the day I am deployed as a Public Affairs Airman. Deployment as something other than Public Affairs wasn’t exactly my idea of a good deployment.

But it is what you make of it. So I made what I could of it. And I ended up having a great experience.

I got my deployed routine down, added more activities as I went along, and slowly but surely found my rhythm.

Wake up, go to work, then head to the gym, eat with friends, hang out in the lounge and finally go to sleep.

Now that doesn’t seem like much. But it was the people I was doing it with that made this deployment a good experience.

Every day working with someone from another country, trying to figure out ways to communicate and sharing what we could with each other.

I talked about home and military life with United Nations allies while searching vehicles. We discussed the differences, the similarities, and most importantly, what we missed and couldn’t wait to get back to.

I worked with people from all over the Air Force, learning about them and making new friends.

In life, and especially in the military, things don’t always go the way you want. You can either throw your hands up, or accept the situation and make the best of it.

And while I may not have wanted to deploy as an OCN, I definitely enjoyed my deployment as an Airman in the U.S. Air Force.