From the Frontlines: Staff Sgt. Matthew Street

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Montse Ramirez
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
For many people, having running water, toilets and water heaters are just an every-day commodity. However, many forget that in several deployed locations these every-day items are luxuries; some that would be difficult to obtain without the help of civil engineers.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Street, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron, water fuels systems maintenance craftsman, was one of the men who made these luxuries possible in Balad Air Base, Iraq, during his third deployment from June to November.

His duties here and there were, to ensure all plumbing on base was installed and working properly. If they weren't, he and his team would repair the damage.

Apart from his duties as a civil engineer craftsman, Sergeant Street said one of his unit's objectives was to teach local nationals on how to perform their job, so they could maintain the base's plumbing facility when it was transitioned to them.

"I really enjoyed working with the Iraqi engineers," he said. "Most of them were very eager to work and learn. It was a good experience to work with such a different culture."

Sergeant Street said this deployment was different than when he was there during 2005 because of the 'draw-down atmosphere.'

"During my last deployment we were adding facilities and building up the base," he said "This time, we were taking down parts and getting ready to come home."

This change of pace wasn't something Sergeant Street was complaining about.
"I liked it," he said. "It was quieter and calmer than last time. The down time gave me an opportunity to work on my fitness and get in better shape."

Also due to the draw-down, Sergeant Street was able to come home earlier than he anticipated and see his wife.

"As much as I enjoyed being deployed, I was happy to come home earlier than I thought," he said. "I was able talk to my wife over the internet, but I still missed her a lot and wanted to see her as soon as possible."

Putting his third deployment under his belt, Sergeant Street said he enjoyed his experience and wouldn't mind going back.