Face of Defense: Airman Finds Hope, Purpose During Deployment

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland 633rd Air Base Wing

Experiences during a 2014 deployment to Bosnia and Herzogovena for the media operations noncommissioned officer in charge of the 633rd Air Base Wing’s public affairs office here led her to establish what now is a thriving nonprofit organization.

When Air Force Tech. Sgt. Katie Ward received her orders to deploy to Sarajevo, Ward said she had to look it up on a map.

Although this would be her first deployment, her husband, Walker Ward, had served an eight-month tour in Iraq in 2010, so she was familiar with the logistics, she said.

Deployment Concerns

“He had a lot of different missions while he was there, and of course being security forces, there was a lot more risk involved than some other jobs,” Ward said of her husband’s deployment. “As newlyweds, I sometimes worried something was going to happen to him, and I if was going to be a widow.”

Ward’s husband, now a civilian, said he was worried about enduring another separation from his wife.

“She’s a strong person, but I knew she was going to struggle with being away from me and the dogs and her family,” he said. “She wasn’t in a combat zone, but she was still in another country on a military installation and couldn’t be here with the ones who love her most.”

He knew his wife would be focused on the…

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