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Tech. Sgt. Scott Sturkol, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- 01.25.2010 Every day at her job with the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Tech. Sgt. Diana Kendall knows deployed service members may need help understanding what their financial entitlements are, or just need to exchange some currency.
Whatever financial question that comes up, Kendall said she's ready to help.
"I am the cashier at the wing's finance office," said Kendall, a financial management craftsman with the 380th AEW comptroller office at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. "I am the one everyone sees when cashing checks, or getting U.S. or local currency from their Eagle Cash card. I also reset the Eagle Cash card pin numbers and reload remaining funds on to the Eagle Cash cards prior to a deployed member's departure."
The Eagle Cash Card program, as defined by the U.S. Treasury Department, is a cash management tool designed to support U.S. military personnel deployed in combat zones The program uses smart-card technology and off-line batch processing to reduce the amount of U.S. currency in circulation overseas.
In addition to managing the Eagle Cash program, Kendall said she has a particularly important task in aiding the deployed service member find their way through understanding their deployment pay and how to get it set up.
"I can help members with questions on their pay and tell them if and when their deployment entitlements have been started," said Kendall, who has 13 years of Air Force service -- seven on active duty and six in the Air Force Reserve. "I can forward their paperwork to their home base and ensure all entitlements are processed."
Normally stationed at the 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field, Fla., Kendall is on her first deployment. She volunteered to deploy to Southwest Asia because she wanted to do her part.
"Being in the Air Force Reserve, I had the option to deploy," said Kendall, a 1991 graduate of Highlands High School in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, and a 2009 bachelor's degree graduate of Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan. "I never deployed when I was active duty and wanted to experience a deployment for myself. One of the reasons I volunteered for this assignment is so that when people at home see me in uniform and say thanks to me for my service, I can feel that I was truly a part of the deployed mission."
Kendall said her husband is an active duty Airman and the tables have turned as far as who is deployed this time.
"With my husband being active duty, I'm usually on the other side and taking care of things at home," Kendall said. "It is different being the one deployed and having him play 'Mr. Mom' while I am gone."
The 380th AEW is comprised of four groups and 12 squadrons and the wing's deployed mission includes air refueling, surveillance, and reconnaissance in support of overseas contingency operations in Southwest Asia. The wing supports Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.