From the Frontlines: Staff Sgt. Tarae Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Cody H. Ramirez
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
A husband, a father and an Airman; Staff Sgt. Tarae Day returned here July 31, 2010 after a 6-month deployment to Bagram, Afghanistan.

The 509th Logistics Readiness Squadron traffic management office outbound freight supervisor and Air Force Global Strike Command member left for Bagram Jan. 15, 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

While deployed, he was the NCO in charge of inbound freight for the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. His job dealt with shipping and receiving all of Bagram's cargo, which was anything from pallets of Meals, Ready to Eat and charitable donations to aircraft parts and emergency response vehicles.

"The deployed work was very fast paced," he said. "I handled more than 490 palletized loads and 1.1 tons of cargo, supporting the region and neighboring Air Force bases.

"I worked twelve-hour night shifts to keep up with the pace," he said. "I typically work eight-hour shifts during the day here, so that was one of the largest adjustments for me."

He also worked hand-in-hand with the Army counterpart of TMO, or the mobile control team, along with the Navy, Marines and foreign militaries, which he said took some getting used to.

Sergeant Day said he enjoyed the adjustments that went along with his deployed life, but being separated from his wife and son for nearly two years was difficult.

This was Sergeant Day's second deployment since he and his wife have been married. After the first, he returned home only to find his wife deploying for six months. By the time she returned, he had orders to deploy in two months.

"Time away from my family in a different country is tough," he said. "I missed my son, who I hadn't seen in almost a year, and my wife, who I hadn't seen in even longer."

"We missed each other, but I went to school and focused on work to keep my mind off the separation," said Sergeant Day's wife, Senior Airman Laprincess Day, 509th Comptrollers Squadron. "Because the jobs we do, we had to set ourselves in the mind frame and understand that this is what we signed up to do."

She said since they kept busy on each end, the deployment went by fast.

"I couldn't wait for him to return, but this was the second time he had deployed and I've been deployed, so we we're used to it," she said.

Overall Sergeant Day said the experience he gained from his deployment was invaluable and offered advice to others in a similar situation.

"For those deployed, or those that will be ... Remember your training," he said. "If you're a religious person; pray. Do the job that you've been trained to do and enjoy the time you spend out there.

"Stay in touch with your loved ones," he added. "Letters and video chat make a world of difference. If you have children, fill up a jar with coins and take one out each day, visually showing them how much time is left until you return."