Serving through the season: Tech. Sgt. Tracey Booth

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jimmy McGuffin
  • Detachment 6, Air Force News Agency
Having worked in security forces for 11 years, Tech. Sgt. Tracey Booth knows what it's like to work through the holidays.

The difference this year is that when his duty hours at work are over, he starts his second job -- playing the role of both mom and dad for four children. Sergeant Booth and his wife have been married for three years and in that time he's always been the one to deploy. This year it was her turn.

"Since we've been together, this is the first time she's deployed for an extended amount of time," he said.

Sergeant Booth's wife, Tech. Sgt., Kelli Wright, is deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq, leaving him to take care of four children: 12-year-old Jeremy, 9-year-old Jacob, 2-year-old Joseph, and the baby, 9-month-old Jadyn.

"When mom first left, I got tested," he said. "I can't even put the presents under the tree because I know the two little ones will get into them before Christmas."

Sergeant Booth, a 1993 graduate of Valparaiso High School in Valparaiso, Ind., said he's never missed his wife more.

"You never realize how much somebody helps out until they leave," he said. "Now, I have to do everything by myself. The most difficult part is just managing my time."

Between taking his kids to school and sporting activities, Sergeant Booth said another obstacle is finding time for himself. "The kids need a break from you and you need a break from the kids. Being a single parent of four is a little more difficult."

Although Sergeant Booth and his kids expect mom to return in late January, living without her during this holiday season is a reality they have to face just like thousands of other military families.

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