ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN. – After a final deployment in Qatar, which ended Nov. 5, AEDC outside machinist Eric Brumley will spend more holidays with his family for years to come.
“It is a blessing to be home for the holidays,” he said. “The best part is I will always be home for the holidays from now on.”
Brumley is a technical sergeant with the 134th Air Refueling Wing Air National Guard, Knoxville, who has been deployed to the Middle East in four job positions in a 20-year military career. He will retire from the ANG Jan. 4, 2017.
In Qatar, from Aug. 5 to November, Brumley and his crew maintained all General Electric F108 engines on the fleet of KC-135 refueling aircraft as a 340th Aircraft Maintenance Unit Propulsion Element Lead.
Brumley admits that being deployed can have its ups and downs.
“The time you miss at home you can never get back,” he said. “Each X put on a calendar is one less X on this earth – the holiday, the birthday, the special moment is missed. But hopefully what you did in the big picture was worth it for all of us.
“The best thing about a deployment would be the time you have to reflect on your life, remember what you’ve forgotten and work on yourself to be a better person.”
Brumley has many memories of his deployments but recalls nature being an unforgettable showing at the second highest mountain in the world.
“In my 20 years, the most memorable moment was when I was a C-130 flight engineer with the 118th Airlift Wing in Nashville for half of my career,” he said. “In 2006 I deployed to Afghanistan as a C-130 flight engineer to fly combat missions. We flew by K2, also known as Mount Godwin-Austen which is 28,251 feet above sea level, early one morning with the sun breaking over the peak of this massive mountain as we were flying at about 20,000 feet. This was a moment that time stood still, for all of us on the crew.”
Brumley has worked at AEDC for 12 years and currently works in the Aeropropulsion Systems Test Facility.