Wyoming Air Guard Members Celebrate Homecoming Following the Holidays

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  • By Capt. Cody Hawkins
  • 153AW
Around 60 members of the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard, returned home this week following a two-month deployment to Southwest Asia. The airmen successfully provided combat airlift support, logistics, maintenance and medical support to Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom's Sentinel. The return home means many members can now celebrate the holidays they missed while deployed.

"We plan to have Christmas dinner tonight," said Master Sgt. Devin Henry, an aircraft fuel systems craftsman with the 153rd Maintenance Squadron. Henry said he also plans to surprise his two boys, Danyle and Donovyn. "They know I'm coming home, they just don't know when. We're going to surprise them." For the Henry's the deployment was actually made easier, thanks in part to technology. Tech. Sgt. Charrolet Henry, who is also a member of the 153rd, said the couple spoke often. "We talked all the time - on FaceTime, through email, text. The First Shirt there also handed out phone cards. That really helped us out a lot too," said Master Sgt. Henry.

Technology also helped Staff Sgt. Chelsea Nelson, an aircrew life support technician with the 153rd Operations Group. Nelson, a senior at the University of Wyoming, happened to be in the middle of fall semester when she deployed for the first time. "When I was told I had to deploy, I asked my professors if I could finish the classes overseas and they said, 'Yes,'" said Nelson. The English, history and economics triple-major said she borrowed a camera and had friends videotape the classes for her. Nelson said she usually got the videos the next day. "Luckily we had a really good internet connection!" Nelson now plans to catch up with family and friends and like Henry, celebrate Christmas with family.

Both Henry and Nelson said they enjoyed the experience and said they are proud of how the 153rd and Wyoming Air Guard were represented during the deployment. 
Currently there are about 50 Wyoming Air National Guard members still deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel.