Being away from family can be difficult, especially if you are an entire country and an ocean away.
U.S. Air Force Capt. Brenda Martin has been stationed at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea for the past year.
Martin came back and surprised her children, Amelie, 5, and Anders, 4, at Belmont Elementary School, where they attend kindergarten and Pre-K.
Staff and teachers at the school helped coordinate getting the kids together, telling them a special person was going to stop by to read to them.
A “Welcome Home” cake was made and the students created an American flag on a white bed sheet, using their hands to create the stars and stripes.
The students were also asked to wear red, white and blue.
Martin, a Belmont High School alumna, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to surprise the kids Dec. 18, the day before she told them she would be home.
“It’s just hard to ‘parent’ through a screen,” Martin said addressing the use of technology she uses to communicate with her kids.
Martin joined the Air Force in May 2009 when she was commissioned as a second lieutenant as a Reserve Officers Training Corps graduate from the University of Minnesota.
“I joined to serve, travel the world and to challenge myself,” she said.
From there she was stationed in Germany for three years, then Minot, N.D. for two years and now returning from South Korea. She and her children are headed to New Mexico for the next step in her journey.
See MARTIN page 3A υ
She works for the Air Force as a logistics officer. She helps move, track and load supplies and
people all around the world. In South Korea, she was a liaison for the Republic of Korea Air Force counterparts and assisted them with their specific mission priorities.
“I was attached to a unit with a variety of different mission sets,” she said. “I was able to integrate with weather, air support and logistics personnel.”
In New Mexico, she will be the director of operations of the 49th Materiel Maintenance Support Squadron.
But being all over Korea, seeing the demilitarized zone that separates the North and South, to hiking Mount Aspan in Daegu, doesn’t compare to being back with her kids.
“I am loving it!” said Martin. “It’s amazing what you take for granted when you’ve been away. I enjoyed the experience, but I am excited about being home and having some sense of normal life for a little bit.”
Before they take the 18-hour trip down to New Mexico, the Martins will spend time with family for the holidays and adjust to having each other back again.
Martin plans to serve 20 years in the Air Force. She hopes to one day find herself in Europe again or potentially even Japan.
“I love the people,” she said. “And no matter where I go, who I meet, I always learn something new or find a way to better myself. There’s a sense of belonging that’s comforting, even when you’re the ‘new guy.’”
But for now she will enjoy her time being back with family.
Pictures to follow in separate email.
Pictured are the Belmont Pre-K class with Brenda and children and teachers Mr. Campbell and Mrs. Weittenhiller with the American Flag the class made.
Also a picture of Brenda and her children Amelie, and Anders.