Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Kemberlee Ann Scott, who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Born in May 1965 in Ohio, Kemberlee Ann Scott enlisted in the Air Force in 1985 while in college at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She joined the service to help finance her education and because her university had an Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. She later graduated from Wright State University in 1992.
Scott went to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and was part of the 3707th Basic Military Training Squadron.
In August 2008, Scott went to Combat Skills Training in Washington. For Operation Enduring Freedom, she deployed to Afghanistan in September 2008. While stationed at Bagram Air Base, Scott’s mission, part of a joint task force with the Army, involved construction work on and around the base.
Despite being the highest-ranking person on a job involving repairing a building for top-secret surveillance, Scott, as a woman, had a difficult time gaining the trust and respect of the local nationals who were helping with the construction. At first, Scott would have to tell a lower-ranking American male soldier how to instruct the local nationals on the job. Slowly, they began to listen to her, and eventually they brought her handmade gifts of jewelry. Scott would often bring them grapes, soda and other snack items.
President George W. Bush visited the base while Scott was stationed there, and her company built a special place for the President to speak at.
During her free time in Afghanistan, Scott enjoyed going to church, singing as a member of the choir and shopping at the Friday bazaar and on leave in Qatar. In the holiday season, she loved Christmas caroling for American soldiers at the base hospital. Scott also helped raise $500 around the base for the locals. She held a contest for the soldiers to throw pies at whichever soldiers received the most votes.
For her service in Afghanistan, Scott received an Army Achievement Medal. She also received an Army Commendation Medal for the 755th Expeditioner Civil Engineer Utility Division.
Scott returned to the states in March 2009. She has also served in Saudi Arabia.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Katherine Berman
Editors: Rachel Falconer and Julia Pack
Fact checkers: Alexys Santiago and Alexandria Davenport
Graphic artist: Helena Strohmier