A family deployed -- the Jones family supports OEF
July 27, 2012
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan--Three members of the Michael R. Jones family are currently deployed to Bagram Airfield in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Father, mother and son are serving in different capacities; each said being deployed together can be a mixed blessing.
The family is no stranger to deployments. Dad, Mike, now a Department of Army civilian, deployed as an administrative contracting officer with Defense Contract Management Agency. He previously deployed to Iraq, as a DoD civilian, supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom for 22 months. Mom, Clarita (Clara) D. Jones, an Army civilian, is completing her first deployment as a procuring contracting officer assigned to Logistics Civil Augmentation Program. Mike and Clara are deployed from U.S, Army Contracting Command, Las Vegas. Son, Air Force Master Sgt. Richard A. Jones, 33rd Expeditionary Helicopter Maintenance Unit, is completing 'about my twelfth deployment'.
"Having my parents in a war zone -- it's different," said Richard. "I love the fact that they're here, but I hate it at the same time."
Recently an indirect fire attack occurred while the parents were visiting Richard.
"I saw my son in action," said Mike. "His first instinct was 'Mom, we gotta go'."
"We became parents for the unit," said Clara. "We try to come over [to see Richard] every week and call to see what they [the unit] need -- pizza, smoothies."
"Guys I work with tell me I'm spoiled," said Mike. "But, I'll take it."
Would the family recommend deploying together?
"It's bittersweet," said Mike. "You worry about not one but two."
For Clara, being deployed together is "a dream come true." She said she thought she might be deployed with her son, but didn't expect to be deployed with her husband. Mike was originally at a different location, but was able to transfer to Bagram several months after Clara deployed and just before Richard arrived for his deployment.
All agreed that it's good being at the same location serving the same cause.