Wendy Clevenger works at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command as a technical editor in the Information Management office.
"I edit and prepare reports that are submitted by agencies or individuals that have contracts with the Army to conduct experiments and research for USAMRMC. My job at MRMC is very rewarding because I can see some of the benefits of the research that comes across my desk out here in the field like TBI research, PTSD research, research that benefits the warfighters."
Holloway : Hi Wendy. So, what are you doing these days, where are you located, and how long will you be there?
Clevenger: I work in an Aerial Port, which is similar to a civilian airport. We have a Passenger Service section that handles the passengers and their bags. We have an Air Terminal Operations Center, which handles all the cargo manifesting, load planning, and data recording that is required to run a Port. We have a Cargo Services section that handles the cargo and the palletizing of it to make it air worthy, and my section Ramp Services. In Ramp, we are the aerial porters that actually load and unload cargo and equipment from commercial wide body aircraft (747s, MD-11s, and other miscellaneous aircraft) and the gray-tails (military aircraft), such as C-130s, C-17s, and C-5s.
This is my second deployment here, to Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.
I am here for 120 days.
Holloway: What do you do in the Air Force?
Clevenger: I am a Master Sergeant in the Air Force Reserves, stationed at Andrews AFB. My Air Force Specialty Code is 2T2, Air Transportation.
My job here is very exciting and rewarding. We ensure the warfighters get needed supplies and vehicles so they can do their jobs and do them safely. We load the bundles on the aircraft that are parachuted to the warfighters in outlying areas, replenishing their supplies. We are very busy, so the time goes by very quickly. It's hard to believe that I am already halfway through my deployment.
Holloway: What have you learned?
Clevenger: I have learned that no matter how minor or tedious the reports or the research that come across my desk, it is truly benefiting someone or something. I know that what I'm doing it is very worthwhile and relevant research for the Army and for the warfighters out there putting it on the line every day! I truly have a deeper respect for the men and women who put themselves in harm's way every time they put on their uniforms here.
Holloway: How do you keep your morale up?
Clevenger: There are a lot of young people here, and they pretty much keep my spirits up because nothing gets them down and they just go with the flow. They have taught me that.
We work 12 hours shifts, so the days do go by pretty fast when all you do is work, eat, and sleep. I go to the PX on my day off and go see a movie or two playing at MWR.
Holloway: Thank you for sharing your story with us. Our prayers are with you.