By Guv Callahan, Pentagram Staff WriterAugust 31, 2016
Ebony Nicholas' father, two sisters and aunt all work on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. As a JBM-HH security guard with the Directorate of Emergency Services, Nicholas said she likes being able to see them at work, and knowing she can keep them safe in the event of an emergency.
"It's comforting to know that I'm at the gates and I'm their first line of defense," Nicholas said during an interview with the Pentagram. "To know that my family is here and that I can keep them safe -- it makes me take my job a lot more seriously."
Nicholas is the youngest daughter of Rubin "Mick" Nicholas, a JBM-HH bus driver who has been working on the installation for more than 41 years. She's been working on the joint base since March 2012, where she started as an employee at the commissary, and has been coming to JBM-HH since she was a child because of her dad, she said.
After she spent a year in the Army, including a deployment to South Korea, Nicholas said it was her dad who drew her back to JBM-HH.
"I also wanted that whole military environment again," she said. "I missed that feeling, so I love the fact that I get to work with Soldiers every day. I'm familiar with the base already -- I've been coming here since I was a kid. Most of the people I see coming through the gate used to buy fundraiser stuff from me, it's kind of funny."
Nicholas said she sees her family members on base regularly. Her older sister, Tiffany, works with her at DES and sometimes they are posted to the same gates.
"We get to work together sometimes, which is kind of cool," she said. "People make jokes all day long."
Nicholas said these days, she notices things she overlooked as a child watching out the bus window.
"As a kid I used to come to work with my dad in the morning and stay with him all day long and we would go through the cemetery and ride different places and historians would get on the bus and talk to us and tell me stories," she said.
She said her father inspired her love of history on those tours, and being close to him is still the best part of working on base today.
"My dad is my hero. It's kind of cool thinking that when I was a kid I was so proud of his job. He drives the Soldiers around and now he's driving me around because I'm here too… I see him almost every day -- he's always checking on us and making sure we don't need anything," she said.
Nicholas said JBM-HH has always been like a home for her, and now that she works on base she hopes it will remain her home for a while.
"Other bases just don't have that same environment, that same family environment. I prefer being here and knowing that [my family is] okay, because that's my job," she said.
Pentagram Staff Writer Guv Callahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.