News: Deployment puts Marine center stage
Story by Spc. Matthew Thompson
By Spc. Matthew Thompson
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - When Cpl. Kimberly Crawford arrived in Afghanistan five months ago, she discovered that a Marine Corps combat correspondent is a multi-tasking career.
After reporting to the American Forces Network detachment on Bagram Air Field, the print journalist from Camp Lejeune, N.C., discovered that the skills she knew were not the only skills she would need.
According to Crawford, the description for the person they needed was a combat correspondent, but about a week before she got here, she realized the need was for a broadcaster.
"They almost pulled me off the deployment," Crawford said. "But the Marine Corps' chief of public affairs said that I had been training for this, so I got to deploy here." Just as any other service member would be expected to do, the 24-year-old Oswego, N.Y. native quickly learned to adapt to her new surroundings.
"Not many people can walk into a job and hit the ground running, and do what she has done," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Jeff St. Sauveur, one of the detachment's producers. "She takes everything you throw at her and makes it awesome."
Crawford demonstrated her commitment to becoming a solid broadcaster covering her first solo project, the Super Bowl shown at Bagram. That one story, according to Tech. Sgt. Deidre Hines, AFN Afghanistan's station manager, seen by millions of viewers worldwide, demonstrated how far Crawford had come as a broadcast journalist.
"She's shown drastic improvement from what she was doing when she first started," St. Sauveur stated proudly.
When Crawford first became a Marine, she wasn't interested in being a broadcaster.
"I avoided broadcasting when I was at the Defense Information School," Crawford said. "I didn't think I would like it, [I] didn't see the artistic view, but [then] I saw that the video camera wasn't much different from a still camera."
Crawford not only had to learn how to use a video camera and broadcast editing equipment, she also had to lose her accent. Something she describes as a cross between Southern and upstate New York.
Crawford remains humble despite the praise she has been given by her co-workers. "They have all helped me out. They were nice and patient and made it fun to learn," she said smiling.
"We count on her, depend on her and we know she will get the job done," said Senior Airman Thomas Kennedy, one of the producers working with Crawford. "It's been remarkable working with her."