U.S. Rep. Martha Roby interviews Army reservist who volunteered in her D.C. office
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, recently sat down with Chris Miller, a mobilized Army National Guard lieutenant colonel, receiving care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center following a military sustained injury. Miller, a resident of Enterprise, has been assisting with constituent services and military issues in Roby’s Washington, D.C., office throughout his recovery.
“By representing several integral military installations in the Second District, defense and military issues remain top concerns for me,” said Roby. “Having someone in uniform responding to constituents is a great way for me to be fully aware of the issues that are relevant to our military service members and their families. I thank Chris for all of his hard work and dedication serving his country, and now his district.”
Roby: What were your responsibilities in your position in Afghanistan?
Miller: I was the Theater Aviation Maintenance Chief for Operation Enduring Freedom. I led a workforce of soldiers, Department of Defense civilians, and contractors whose primary mission it was to provide sustainment aviation maintenance throughout Afghanistan. My unit, the 1106th Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group (TASMG), was headquartered in Kuwait. There was also another TASMG forward element performing the same mission for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
We were the last opportunity for Combatant Commanders to have their damaged aircraft returned to the fight, rather than sent back to the USA for repair. I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve the nation in combat, and particularly to do so with the soldiers of the TASMG.
Roby: How does your military service affect your family and friends in Enterprise?
Miller: Having been in the Army all of my adult life, it is basically all I know. It has been difficult at times, especially the long periods of separation from my family and friends. We are mindful of the many other service-members who have spent more time apart from loved ones and those who have been killed in action, or are still missing. We are thankful for our many blessings.
It is difficult to put into words the deep gratitude I have for my family’s sacrifice and support of my military career. Lorrie, my wife, is a terrific mother and very understanding of the demands of my chosen profession. We credit a deep love for each other, constant communication, and adaptability to our success at marriage over the past 19-plus years. Although modern technology has vastly improved our ability to stay in touch, there is nothing like being at home.
Roby: What are the things that you are learning while volunteering in the Washington office?
Miller: At the forefront of this experience is when I learned about how the separate staff functions within the office. I am impressed how the high volume of information flows through the staff and the quick pace at which it gets to you. The operations tempo is very high and each member of the staff seamlessly coordinates to keep the team moving in the same direction.
This office seems to operate in similar fashion to some units in which I have belonged: operating in an efficient manner with the least possible resources for maximum production. There seems to be no down time, no pause between engagements, an environment in which I like to operate. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate as a member of this team. I appreciate this opportunity to help my community and neighbors by taking on a small portion of the workload here.
I have been afforded several unique opportunities to attend hearings, briefings, and meetings involving senior civilian and military leaders. These experiences have expanded my knowledge base and dovetail nicely with my military and civilian education. I look forward to applying what I have been learning here to the remainder of my military career and well into my next civilian occupation.
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