KLFY Hero Salute: National Guard specialist adapts and overcomes challenges posed by COVID-19

Hero Salute

Getting a few thousand soldiers deployed to another country is no small task. Commanders, colonels, and top brass leap to mind when we think about making that happen, but there are people tasked with keeping track of it all.

A specialist with the Louisiana National Guard experienced an unexpected turn of events upon her deployment to the Middle East, but she’s realizing the lasting benefits of being a citizen-soldier.

“Sergeant Coleman needed an assistant and she took the opportunity because she saw something in me, I guess. She gave me the opportunity to work with her, and it’s been a really good experience.”

Specialist Erica Wynn is serving the National Guard as an admin clerk during her deployment. It’s not the job she was originally trained to do.

“Because of Covid, we had a hold-up, so when we got here the job was no longer available to me,” says Wynn.

Wynn is a trained fueler. But, true to Army form, she has adapted and overcome.

“Initially, I was sad because I was thinking I was going to come to deployment and do the job I trained for, but when I look at the bigger picture, everything happens for a reason, and I am really happy to work alongside Sergeant Coleman.”

She explains that the National Guard’s administration arm is integral, especially during deployment.

Wynn explains, “In the admin world, I do the DMBI report, tracking the medical stuff that goes on, and I also do the PSR report, which is our personnel status report — just keeping track of where everyone is and making sure everyone is safe.”

Her unit will soon begin the process of getting the soldiers of the 256th back home. She says she recognizes the benefit of the new skills she’s learned.

“Everything about being an admin clerk is being able to learn skills on a computer that I can use not only in my military career but my civilian career as well. So learning skills you can really hold for a lifetime.”

This is Specialist Wynn’s first deployment. She says, despite being from Louisiana, the heat there took her by surprise. She looks forward to food, dancing, and seeing her family and her dog when she gets back.

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