Beyond the mission: Augmentee brings unit together to support local women’s shelter
By Brooke Davis, Northeast Air Defense Sector
/ Published April 15, 2009
ROME, N.Y. -- Augmentees are just deployed temporarily here to support the mission - supporting the community isn't something they do, right? Wrong.
One augmentee brought her involvement with a women's shelter from her base in Tucson, Ariz., and inspired a unit to organize support for the YWCA Women's Shelter Hall House, a local women's shelter in Utica.
Staff Sgt. Teresa Edloe deployed to the Northeast Air Defense Sector from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. While at NEADS, she supported the unit's homeland defense mission as an identification technician. But like many volunteers at NEADS, at the end of her shift began her community support mission.
The support provided by members from NEADS and Sergeant Edloe helped a mother and her 7-year-old son who had just recently moved out of the shelter and were getting on their feet. The monetary support provided allowed Sergeant Edloe to spend more than $300 on the family for Christmas.
Additionally, Staff Sgt. Deborah Martin and the NEADS Family Readiness Group helped provide toys to every child at the shelter over the holidays. The eight bags of toys were well received at the shelter.
"On Christmas Eve, when I brought the toys over, the women were very happy," explained Sergeant Edloe. "They picked out various toys for their children and I helped them wrap a few of their gifts."
Since the holidays, she continues to spend time at the shelter and has discovered that simple gestures go a long way.
"I sometimes bring over new movies or do McDonald's runs. McDonald's is the favorite for some of the women there," she said. "It's not a big deal or costly task but it puts a smile on people's face."
Another NEADS member, Staff Sgt. Nino Camuglia, was able to collect five large bags and two boxes of gently used clothes and toys to take over to the shelter.
"Since this is not my home base and I did not know the NEADS family very well, I was prepared to go into this alone this year," said Sergeant Edloe. "It was surprising the amount of support and generosity I received from the NEADS community. It was a great big help and we were able to help people that do not have much."
Although Sergeant Edloe will soon be heading back to her base in Arizona, she plans to keep in touch with the women at the shelter.
Supporting the shelter is rewarding for Sergeant Edloe because, "It gives me a chance to remember how blessed I am and to physically get out there, help someone and make a little difference or just to bring a little joy to people that are going through unimaginable life tribulations."