From the Frontlines: Staff Sgt. Alexandra Boutte

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Montse Belleau
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Every photograph captures a moment in time, a moment that can last a lifetime to those who see it.

In the military, there are Airmen whose job is to tell the story of other service members by photographing them on the job, both stateside and on the frontlines.

Staff Sgt. Alexandra Boutte, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, is one of those Airmen. Her job is telling the stories of the people she comes in contact with during her deployment to Southwest Asia. She is currently assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs office.  

"My images tell the military story to the American public," Boutte said. "I have a tremendous impact on history and documentation. The men and women of the U.S. military are often considered heroes in the eyes of most Americans and I believe military photographers have played a role in the view."

Boutte said that her duties at her deployment aren't much different than at Whiteman.

"My job goes from one extreme to the next," Boutte said. "One day I may be documenting a major accident, the next day I am documenting awards ceremony or taking official photos. It's a dynamic mission many individuals do not realize we perform."

In addition to her photography duties, Boutte also writes a story a week in accordance with the career field merger.

"With the combining of the photography and journalism career fields, she has been very proactive in learning to write a variety of stories, from features to news," said Master Sgt. Kristina Barrett, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Superintendent.

During her free time from writing and taking photos, Boutte said she is taking her first class toward her CCAF degree. She also volunteers to do base clean-up, and has developed and teaches a photography/Photoshop course for anyone on base who wants to learn basic techniques and rules of photography.

She said her favorite part of her deployment has been all the amazing people she met and also working with the host nationals.

"Working with them has taught me a lot about their culture," Boutte said. "It has helped me realize why we are here and how important it is that we are here in a team effort."

Boutte also said she has learned to appreciate more the things she had back home.

"I am thinking about all the times I complained about working late and on the weekends," she said. "After this deployment, I will never complain again."

Barrett said Boutte is an extremely hard working Airmen whose attitude really makes a difference.

"She's always willing to work whatever hours she's needed to get the job done," Barrett said. "She's one of the most visible people on base because she is the only photographer. Everyone knows her by her work ethic and her reputation precedes her; they know they're getting a great photographer and great Airman."

Boutte said she has enjoyed her deployment so far and expects to continue to enjoy it.

"I have done so many things I wouldn't have been able to do at Whiteman, which makes me happy I volunteered to deploy," she said.

When she comes back home in December, she says the first thing she will do is kiss her husband and their two children Emily, 4, and Michael, 2, whom she misses terribly.