REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 20, 2020) – The house on Jupiter Street may no longer stand on Redstone Arsenal, but the memories Suzanne Birdsong created there will last forever.Birdsong, whose father served in the Army, was 8 years old when she moved to Redstone Arsenal with her family from Germany. Little did she know the move was just the beginning of a life meant to be spent on the installation. Today she is the tech management office missiles division chief for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate.April is Month of the Military Child, a time to recognize the service and sacrifices military-connected children make for their country. For Birdsong, serving her country and the Warfighter as a member of the CCDC AvMC workforce means a lot – especially as a military child all grown up and the wife of a Gulf War veteran.“Growing up on Redstone was fun,” Birdsong recalled. “We rode bikes, played kickball with the neighbors, climbed trees, went to the pool and the movie theater on post. Redstone ensured the children who lived there had plenty of activities.”Living first on Jupiter Street and then Lance Drive, Birdsong spent seven years living on post, where the activities for youth were plentiful, such as cheerleading, bowling, football, baton twirling, basketball and ballet. Her first job was as a bagger at the commissary.Some of her fond memories include her parents planting a vegetable garden every year, the Polish and Cajun dishes her mom cooked, and the time a stray neighborhood cat made a ruckus in the middle of the night.“Maw used to the leave window open just a crack for our cat to come in – well apparently another cat decided to come in for a visit. Not a good idea," Birdsong said. "Those cats were fussin’ and fighting with each other and Maw was chasing them around the house shouting, ‘Get! Get! Get!’ I think she chased them through every room in the house before she was finally able to separate them. It was that same cat that also tried to steal the Thanksgiving turkey – Maw went into the kitchen only to find the cat trying to run off with it. He didn’t get far.”The homes Birdsong’s family lived in no longer stand, just one of the many changes the installation has seen over the decades. Bicentennial Chapel, the Sparkman Center and Fox Army Health Center are only a few of the buildings that have been constructed since then. Gone is a store named the “Rod and Rake” off Patton Road that sold lawnmowers, rakes, fertilizer and candy – so, too, is the toy store just outside the gates. The days of Rideout Road being only two lanes are a distant memory.“Where the new housing area is was once a pasture for horses belonging to Redstone families,” Birdsong said. “I would sometimes ride my bike over there and share an apple. The land extended all the way to where the Botanical Garden is today. If you wonder why those gardens are so beautiful, it’s partly due to the fertile ground.”Birdsong, who received her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, came to work for AvMC in 1989.“My dad told me one day when I started working as a civil servant, ‘Everything you do and everything you don’t do will affect the Soldier, no matter how big or little your task is,’” Birdsong said. “That has always stuck with me. The Warfighter is willing to put their life on the line for us—people they do not even know. Warfighters are willing to go the extra mile. I take great joy in the fact that I am doing something to provide for them and am deeply honored that I am given that chance to assist.”--The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, which conducts responsive research, development and life cycle engineering to deliver the aviation and missile capabilities the Army depends on to ensure victory on the battlefield today and tomorrow. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.