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Aerial port achiever Senior Master Sgt. George Thompson

Senior Airman Denice Luke, 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron poses inside a 60 K-Loader at a base in Southwest Asia Feb. 8. Luke is serving on her first deployment from Robins Air Force Base Ga., to the Air Force Central Command Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. George Thompson)

SOUTHWEST ASIA-Sometimes mockingly called weekend warriors or part time soldiers by their active duty counterparts, National Guardsman and reservists are a vital piece of the Total Force Integration Air Force. For one airman assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, being a reservist allows her time to pursue other passions while also serving her country.

Sometimes mockingly called weekend warriors or part time soldiers by their active duty counterparts, National Guardsman and reservists are a vital piece of the Total Force Integration Air Force. For one Airman assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, being a reservist allows her time to pursue other passions while also serving her country.

“It’s like living two completely different lives, that’s why I like it so much,” said Senior Airman Denice Luke.

Luke is an Air Transportation Journeyman deployed from Robins Air Force Base, Ga. to one of the busier aerial hubs in the Air Force Central Command Area of Responsibility. From Dec. 15 through Jan. 15, Luke processed 9,118 passengers, 4,142 tons of cargo and serviced 435 aircraft which culminated in Luke’s selection as flight, squadron, group and ultimately 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Airman of the month.

From basic forklifts, to Mine Resistant Armored Protected Vehicles, 25 K-Loaders and her confessed favorite vehicle the 60 K-Loader, driving is in her nature.

“I like to drive in general, I just get in my car and drive,” said Luke. “My dad is a truck driver he drives cross country moving people and I’ve always wanted to learn how to drive his 18-wheeler so the 60K kind of feels like an 18-wheeler to me.”

When Luke is not making the one weekend a month, six-hour trip from her home in North Carolina to her reserve unit at Warner Robins, she is a first-year certified elementary and special education teacher.

“I don’t do it for the money, or the recognition,” said Luke. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was in second grade; teaching is what I want to do with my life.”

Luke, like others members of the reserves, must balance her civilian career with her military service.

“The school I was working at was willing to hire me and give me a job, but they knew I had to deploy,” said Luke.

Between serving her country and teaching in the classroom, Luke still manages to find time to give back to the community. She recently served as chapter president of the Swing Phi Swing social fellowship incorporated, at the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

“The point of our organization is to cater to African American women, but we cater to the whole community, performing community service at different events,” said Luke. “I commit a 110 percent of my time to that.”

Luke redeploys next month with fond memories of her time in Southwest Asia, armed with a newfound appreciation for the Air Force and her fellow airmen.

“I learned a lot about my job but I learned more about the people in the Air Force and leadership, which I can carry back to the classroom,” said Luke.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Aerial Port achiever, by SMSgt George Thompson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:02.08.2013

Date Posted:02.08.2013 05:35

Location:(UNDISCLOSED LOCATION)

More Like This

  • Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James finished up her first visit to Air Forces Central Command's area of responsibility with a tour of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing this weekend.
  • Command Chief Master Sgt. Shelina Frey, U. S. Air Forces Central Command's senior enlisted leader, held her farewell tour at the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing April 4-6.
  • Staff Sgt. Sophia Mantzouris, 386th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, knew she wanted to enlist on active duty from the time she was a little girl, but a friend steered her towards the Air National Guard which provided her an opportunity to serve at extremes.
  • Lt. Gen. Gary North, commander of U.S. Central Command Air Forces, paid a visit to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing during his tour of the CENTAF Area of Responsibility. During the evening visit, North spent some time getting to know some of the service members.

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