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"I’m just doing my job--it’s a difficult job and I love it, but I’m just doing my job." (Video interview 32:20)

   Lauren Arnett Campbell
Collection image
Lauren Campbell [detail from video]
War: Afghan War, 2001-
Branch: Air Force
Unit: 301st Rescue Squadron, 920ths Rescue Wing, 10th Air Force; Air Force Reserve
Service Location: Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; Helmand Region, Afghanistan; Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Rank: Staff Sergeant
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Staff Sergeant Lauren Arnett Campbell joined the Air Force Reserves because she wanted to make a difference, pure and simple. She fulfilled this goal many times over during her deployment to Afghanistan, where she flew over 145 combat sorties with a helicopter rescue unit. In her oral history interview, she describes the grueling schedule she and her comrades faced, flying alternating twelve-hour shifts, and the accompanying challenges and rewards of her daily routine. She also details her experiences as the first female aerial gunner in the Air Force Reserves.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (4 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (51 min.)
Interview (Audio)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (51 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
Enlisting in the Air Force Reserves to save lives and participate in rescue missions; deployment offered her a chance to do this every single day. (01:52) Arrival in Afghanistan; initial impressions of the landscape. (01:43) Feeling of being in a helicopter; weathering the elements; staying proactive and alert; bitter cold. (02:19)
First female gunner in Air Force Reserve; people know who she is even if she hasn’t met them; being challenged because she’s a women; meeting other female trailblazers; feeling like she’s part of a community. (05:28)  

Home » Lauren Arnett Campbell
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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