Veterans share stories of service


Senior Airman Leslie Dubois
interview and photograph by Maria Menoutis

Senior Airman Leslie Dubois
Active Duty 1999-2002
Served at Yokota Air Base, Japan; 36 Airlift Squadron C 130 Maintenance supply liaison
Currently: In CT Air National guard 103 logistics readiness squadron East Granby, 
“I basically do the same job [in the National Guard]. It is just a little different because when I was active duty all the computer programs are different now than then, so I have to relearn everything. The guard is a lot slower and relaxed than active duty. There aren’t as many military bearing in the guard. When you are active duty you have to stand up when an officer comes in the room but with the guard, the rules are less strict about women’s hair and other things. The core values are still there, they still deploy, they still get the job done.
“You definitely see the sacrifice that people make. I have a friend and her husband was deployed six months home six months away like all year round. Some wives are giving birth to their babies when their husbands are away, so it is a huge sacrifice for kids too. My twins, their dad is in South Korea and they haven’t seen him in over a year. You know, it’s a sacrifice, so you have to have an understanding family. Sometimes you think, why do you have to sacrifice so  much when you might not understand exactly why the politicians are making you do things. A lot of the time in the military, you just do what you are told, you aren’t always going to understand why. Like two guys in my squadron are deploying next spring. One of them has a family.
“When I go to drill, they don’t explain why, it is a lot of readiness. All the squadrons are always training and going through inspections even if you are never going to deploy. They always want you ready, I always have a government travel card to help with finances even though I’m not deploying anytime soon. I think that is the reason why the United States has the best military in the world because they are always training and ready. The wars are very sad though. People in the middle east have homes that are being destroyed all the time. I feel bad for them, people get killed all the time, it is such a loaded question.”