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Being deployed while battling COVID-19

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ashley Mason, 17th Communications Squadron client systems technician poses for a photo while in a deployed location. (Courtesy Photo)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ashley Mason, 17th Communications Squadron client systems technician poses for a photo while in a deployed location. (Courtesy Photo)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joshua Krischke, 17th Communications Squadron cyber systems technician, practices COVID-19 safety measures while deployed. (Courtesy Photo)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Joshua Krischke, 17th Communications Squadron cyber systems technician, practices COVID-19 safety measures while deployed. (Courtesy Photo)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

Throughout the outbreak of COVID-19 there have been changes, increased security measures and suggestions on how to stay healthy and protect your family. What about those who are away from family doing what they raised their right hand for, protecting our country?

Due to the limited travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, those military members who are deployed are left in limbo. They, just like the rest of the population, have no idea how long these measures to combat and slow the spread may be in place. 

“Being deployed during the outbreak has been a very confusing time,” said Senior Airman Joshua Krischke, 17th Communication Squadron cyber systems technician. “All we know is that we are extended. The worst part is that we can’t be there for our families in this time of need. The upside is we still have plenty of toilet paper.”

Despite missing family, individuals are still staying resilient and looking on the bright side of things. 

“It’s stressful, I’m always worried about getting the virus because if I get sick then everyone else around me gets sick because we share a lot,” said Airman 1st Class Ashley Mason, 17th Communications Squadron client systems technician. “But, our gyms on base are still open so I have been going to the gym, running, reading and watching a lot of Netflix.”

The unknown nature of COVID-19 and how long the outbreak will last takes the uncertainty of deployment for family members and adds stress. 

“It’s taken any plans we may have had and thrown them out the window,” said Brianna Krischke, military spouse. “I can’t plan for life due to the circumstances. Luckily, I have my family with me cause they're keeping me positive.”

There is an old quote whose author is unknown. “A veteran whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve, is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘the United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’”  

Military members and their families never know how that check may be cashed. There are many members who have gone before us who had to sacrifice it all. During this time, we may feel like things are out of our hands whether that is through trips being canceled, deployments extended or orders being changed. But military members gained a second family when they took the pen and wrote that check and that family is still there for you. No matter where you are or how you may be struggling. 

“We just learn to roll with the punches,” said Senior Airman Krischke. “It’s not hard unless you make it hard.”

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