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Captain Cindy Mefford

Captain Cindy Mefford of Gretna was the personnel officer for the 110th Medical Battalion during its mobilization and deployment to Iraq and Kuwait as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom from February 2003 to August 2004. The battalion's mission was to provide command and control for ground and air medical evacuation units in the area extending from Baghdad to southeastern Iraq and into Kuwait. Cindy was responsible for accounting for all personnel, sometimes numbering hundreds of people, as well as transferring Red Cross messages and overseeing morale activities. The single greatest lesson she learned from her deployment was that "we live in a privileged and beautiful country."
Source: All objects were loaned by Cindy Mefford


While Cindy was deployed, her husband Brian cared for their two young sons, Nicholas and Michael. One of the greatest challenges was "being away from my young sons and still trying to be a part of their lives." Not surprisingly, Brian stated that the single greatest lesson he learned from Cindy's deployment was "I don't want to be a single parent."


Service flags, which made an appearance during World War I, are still being used today. The stars on the flag indicate the number of people from that household serving during wartime. Blue stars stand for those currently serving and yellow stars stand for those who were lost in the line of duty. This flag was hung in the Mefford household during Cindy's deployment.

Cindy Mefford, on hearing of her impending deployment:
Scared and sick to my stomach when we heard the rumor. Then resignation when we actually got the order. We knew [she and Brian] it was coming so we both turned our fears over to the Lord. It helped relieve some stress.
  

Cindy Mefford on how her children coped with her deployment:
Before I left I taped myself reading books and singing bedtime songs so they could hear my voice. When I left, my oldest son [age six at the time] told me to "just go" because he couldn't stand to see me crying. They coped by spending a lot of time with friends and family, who gave them extra hugs.

Excerpts from letters Cindy Mefford wrote to her sons, Nicholas and Michael.
Did Daddy give you the big book so you can learn about the country Kuwait? Did Daddy show you where that's at? Mommy is doing ok-she just misses you both so much! And I don't know when I can come home-I just know it will be a long time.

Mommy is trying to get settled in. I'm unpacking my duffle bags and sorting all the equipment I won't need . . .How is school going? And soccer practice? When is your first game? I wish I could be there for it. I DO NOT like being away from you two. I miss you 2 so much! Mommy should be able to call home about one week from now. I love to hear your voices!

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I will be thinking of you two all day . . . Mom got your pictures of the flowers-thank you! We love to see flowers over here since we only have dandelions. You picked out very beautiful flowers. Tonight at chow they gave all the moms a rose. I chose a peach colored one.


Cindy Mefford on coming home: I was excited and thrilled to come home but worried about the transition back to civilian life. My youngest son [age three] would not come to me right away-that hurt.

On her biggest challenges and adjustments after coming home: Learning how they [her family] did things now. Breaking bad habits, like eating at McDonald's a lot, when I had to start going to Guard drills again-they would get scared when I put on the uniform  (thinking I was leaving for months again-not just a day).


Just one of the improved bunkers used when there were threats of bombing or rockets.

Once our camp finally allowed food vendors to come on site, this was one of them. It was like a food court-but outside or in small buildings. Not sure what kind of meat it was-I stayed away from that stuff.


In the Troop Medical Clinic (TMC) treating sick call patients.


One-thousand-man warehouse that used to house Bradley fighting vehicles. This is where we stayed the first two weeks upon arrival in Kuwait to get acclimated. It was men and women together.

 

The abandoned building on the other side of our barracks. Maybe a morning golf outing. We had set up our own "golf" course with plastic cups as the holes and someone made flags. All we used was either a sand wedge or chipping iron that someone had brought with them! You could only play early-at dawn-otherwise it was too hot.

NSHS Home
Exhibits

Introduction

  Maj. Gen. Roger Lempke

Individuals Stories

  Cpt. Robert Ford

  Maj. Martin Neal

  Cpt. Cindy Mefford

  Lt. Col. Tom Brewer

  Spc. Andrew Rodriguez

  Msgt. Martin Coleman

  Spc. Jenny (Beck) Bos

  Ssgt. John Ayers

  Sgt. Sion Odom

  Col. Thomas Schuurmans

  Chaplain Brian Kane

  Maj. Jim Oliver

  Col. George Skuodas

Homeland Missions

Equipment

Memorial

 

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Last updated 7 November 2008  

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